World Badminton Championships: Shuttlers Santoso and Ahsan-Setiawan pull out
Kuala Lumpur, Aug 19 (IANS) Indonesia's ambitions at the World Badminton Championships were severely dented on Tuesday with the withdrawals of men's doubles defending champions Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan and Simon Santoso from the men's singles event. Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) international relations manager Bambang (Rudy) Roedyanto Tuesday informed the Badminton World Federation (BWF) that these competitors were being withdrawn from the tournament due to injury with Ahsan having re-injured his back and Santoso being diagnosed with dengue fever.
"It's a disaster for us, what can I say. We are leaving Thursday morning and we have no choice (but to withdraw them). They cannot play," he said.
This news completes a triple whammy for Indonesian badminton with the earlier withdrawal of defending mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir due to an ankle injury which Ahmad suffered in June. With the World Championship draw already out, there will be no replacement for either Ahsan-Setiawan or Santoso. Ironically, Santoso was catapulted into the men's singles line-up after China withdrew last year's semi-finalist Du Pengyu.
"It's the second time Ahsan has had lower back pain and it has gotten worse in the past few days while he has been training. He cannot even sit down properly now. So, of course, he can't move well or jump-smash and the doctor says he should not go," said Roedyanto.
Meanwhile, Santoso has been hospitalised after falling ill on Monday.