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Chinese player dies at youth badminton tournament

July 1, 2024

A 17-year-old badminton player died at a tournament in Yogyakarta province, Indonesia, after he suffered cardiac arrest during a match. Zhang Zhijie was playing against Kazuma Kawano when he collapsed and had seizures.

Badminton players and officials holding a moment of silence at Asia Junior Championships at Amongrogo Stadium in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Badminton players and officials in Yogyakarta held a moment of silence after the death of Zhang Zhijie, who collapsed during a matchImage: PBSI/AP/picture alliance

A 17-year-old Chinese badminton player died after collapsing on court during a tournament in Indonesia's Yogyakarta province on the island of Java, officials said on Monday.

Zhang Zhijie was playing against Kazuma Kawano of Japan at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships on Sunday when he collapsed and had seizures.

What else do we know about Zhang's death?

The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) said medical teams treated Zhang on court, after which he was taken to hospital.

Badminton players and officials in Yogyakarta held a minute of silence on the court Monday morning before the quarterfinals.

"The world of badminton has lost a talented player," Badminton Asia and the PBSI said in a joint statement.

A spokesperson for the PBSI said that medical examinations showed that Zhang had suffered cardiac arrest.

"The conclusion of the examination and treatment of the victim at both hospitals showed the same results, namely that the victim experienced sudden cardiac arrest," PBSI spokesperson Broto Happy said.

Badminton world offers condolences

China's Badminton Association said it was "deeply saddened" over the player's death.

"Zhang Zhijie loved badminton and was an outstanding athlete of the national youth badminton team," the association said.

The Badminton World Federation offered its condolences to Zhang's family and the Chinese team.

"We offer our deepest condolences to his family, his teammates, to the Chinese Badminton Association, and the entire Chinese badminton community," the federation said.

Zhang started playing badminton in kindergarten and joined China's national youth team last year.

Earlier this year, he won the singles title at the Dutch Junior International tournament.

sdi/fb (AP, AFP)