We do not want to take a risk. Athletes' health and safety are more important
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's national badminton team has announced its decision to withdraw from the 2021 BWF World Championships, planned to be held in Huelva, Spain, from December 12–19, 2021, citing concerns over the Omicron variant.

In a written statement issued here on Wednesday, the Indonesian Badminton Association's (PBSI) Operational Director Alex Tirta informed that the decision came directly from PBSI Chairperson Agung Firman Sampurna.

Sampurna cited the security and safety of the national team amid the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as the reason behind the withdrawal from the championship, he said.

The decision was taken after a discussion with organizers, coaches, and PBSI official Rionnya Mainaky, Tirta added.

They cited uncertainty over the spread of the Omicron variant as the primary reason for the decision to withdraw, he informed.

The decision was also based on the Indonesian Government's warning concerning the latest development of the Omicron variant, he said.

"We do not want to take a risk. Athletes' health and safety are more important. We have discussed this with the players and they agreed to resign from the World Championship," Mainaky said.

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Thus, the 2021 Indonesia Badminton Festival (IBF) in Bali from November 16 to December 5 has become the last tournament that the national team participated in this year, he added.

They will now start preparing for tournaments scheduled for 2022, he said.

Earlier, PBSI planned to send 13 athletes to the 2021 BWF World Championships:

Men's singles:

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Jonatan Christie, Shesar Hiren Rhustavito.

Women's singles:

Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, Ruselli Hartawan.

Men's doubles:

Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan, Fajar Alfian and Muh. Rian Ardianto, Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin.

Women's doubles:

Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu.

Mixed doubles:

Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti, Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas Mentari, as well as Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto and Lisa Ayu Kusumawati.

Related news: IDI invites Indonesians to become vanguards to prevent Omicron

Translator: Roy Rosa B, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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