Chinese badminton player, 17, dies after collapsing on court during Asia Junior Championship

A 17-year-old Chinese badminton player died after collapsing on court during an international tournament in Indonesia, officials said on Monday, mourning him as “outstanding” and “talented”.

Zhang Zhijie was suddenly taken ill during a match late Sunday against Japan’s Kazuma Kawano at the Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta.

The score was 11-11 in the first game when Zhang fell to the floor. He received treatment at the venue and was taken to hospital by ambulance, but passed away after efforts to resuscitate him failed.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

“China’s Zhang Zhijie, a singles player, collapsed on the court during a match in the evening,” Badminton Asia and the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) said in a joint statement on Monday.

“He was sent to the hospital where he passed away at 23:20 local time yesterday.

“He was attended to by the tournament doctor and medical team. He was taken in the standby ambulance in less than two minutes and sent to hospital.

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

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, a prestigious youth tournament.

China’s badminton association said that it was “deeply saddened”.

“Zhang Zhijie loved badminton and was an outstanding athlete of the national youth badminton team,” the CBA said in a statement.

It added: “At present the local hospital has not yet identified the cause of death.”

The team tournament in the city of Yogyakarta held a moment’s silence on Monday and the Chinese team wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

India’s P.V. Sindhu, who has won Olympic silver and bronze, called Zhang’s death “absolutely heartbreaking”.

“I offer my deepest condolences to Zhang’s family during this devastating time,” Sindhu, who was not at the tournament, wrote on X.

“The world has lost a remarkable talent today.”

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