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BWF faces backlash over on-court medical regulations after Zhang Zhijie’s death

Following Zhang Zhijie’s death, criticism of the BWF mounts for delayed medical responses. Netizens demand regulatory reforms and swift action, calling for improved emergency protocols and immediate medical intervention on courts.



(Photo credits: Instagram @pbdjarumofficial / X @bwfmedia)

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) faces criticism following the death of 17-year-old Chinese badminton player Zhang Zhijie during a tournament in Indonesia.

Many are calling for changes to medical regulations on the court.

Zhang suffered cardiac arrest after collapsing during a match against Japan’s Kazuma Kawano at the Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta on Sunday (30 June).

In a joint statement, Badminton Asia and the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) reported that Zhang was taken to the hospital in a standby ambulance within two minutes of collapsing on the court.

Despite receiving immediate treatment at the venue and being rushed to the hospital, Zhang died later that night after repeated resuscitation attempts failed.

Zhang’s parents are currently en route to Yogyakarta to retrieve his body.

“The world of badminton has lost a talented player,” the joint statement expressed.

Zhang began 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, a prestigious youth tournament.

China’s badminton association expressed their sorrow, stating, “Zhang Zhijie loved badminton and was an outstanding athlete of the national youth badminton team.”

In response, the BWF extended their condolences via social media on Monday (1 July).

“The Badminton World Federation is saddened by the loss of emerging badminton talent Zhang Zhijie,” read their statement.

“We offer our deepest condolences to his family, his teammates, the Chinese Badminton Association, and the entire Chinese badminton community.”

Netizens criticize BWF following death of Zhang Zhijie

Many netizens have expressed their condolences for Zhang Zhijie, the 17-year-old Chinese badminton player who died after collapsing on court.

However, dissatisfaction with the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) response is widespread, with numerous calls for revising on-court medical regulations.

Social media platforms like Facebook and X have been flooded with comments highlighting the delay in the medical team’s response, which many believe contributed to the tragedy.

One user suggested that future organizing committees should ensure better medical coverage for emergencies, noting the delayed response due to a lack of emergency health knowledge.

Another pointed out the 50-second delay before medics were allowed on the court, emphasizing the need for immediate action in such cases.

Criticism also targeted the umpire for preventing coaches from approaching Zhang immediately.

Critics expressed confusion over the umpire’s decision to stop the coach, emphasizing the importance of using common sense alongside adhering to rules.

They also questioned why immediate assistance was not provided during those crucial initial moments.

Netizens demand BWF investigation and regulation changes after player’s death

Many netizens are calling for the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to conduct an investigation and revise the on-court medical regulations following the tragic death of Zhang Zhijie.

One user commented, “The least you could do is set up a committee, conduct an investigation, hold a press release, and amend the rules regarding the medical team and equipment standards.”

Additionally, another user stressed the importance of revising the regulations for treating athletes, underscoring the need to take human life seriously and avoid another incident like Zhang’s.

One user recommended empowering umpires with medical knowledge to recognize life-threatening situations.

They also suggested equipping every tournament with automated external defibrillators (AEDs), regardless of the tournament’s grade.

The current BWF on-court medical service regulations state that if a player appeals to the umpire for medical assistance, the umpire must call the referee to the court by raising their right hand, provided the appeal is for a genuine injury or illness.

The referee, accompanied by the tournament doctor, will then quickly come on the court to resolve the situation as swiftly as possible so that play can resume.

PBSI calls for review of on-court medical procedures following tragedy

In response to the situation, the Central Board of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) announced that they would write to the BWF regarding standard operating procedures for assisting athletes during emergencies.

Broto Happy, Public Relations and Media of the PBSI, stated at a press conference in Yogyakarta on Monday (1 July) that current procedures require the medical team to wait for a referee’s call before providing assistance.

“Indeed, response times need to be faster in emergencies. Perhaps this rule can be revised for the safety of athletes and the fairness of the game,” he said.

Broto explained that in Zhang Zhijie’s case, the medical team and tournament doctors were only allowed on the field after receiving a referee’s call.

“This aligns with SOPs for all international badminton tournaments by the BWF and Badminton Asia,” he noted.

Because of this, Broto emphasized the need to review the SOP rule stating that the medical team cannot intervene without a referee’s call.

“PBSI will present this case to the BWF to enhance athlete safety in the future,” he concluded.

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Last edited 12 days ago by Blankslate


Last edited 12 days ago by Blankslate

Yet another case. Was he vaccinated using the mRNA Covid vaccine? Ie: Myocarditis again.

Very Talented