Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Chen Yu Fei suffered an injury on her toe during her match against Han Yue at the Chinese National Games yesterday.
The first toe on her right foot was cut open by the Li-Ning shoe that she was wearing during the match.
Yonex, as the official sponsor of the Chinese national team, provides the kit to Chen Yu Fei for all international tournaments and Li-Ning was the sponsor just for the domestic tournament that she was playing.
After losing the first game, Chen Yu Fei was leading 10-8 in the second game when she took a medical timeout and called the tournament doctor.
Upon examination, there was a clean cut in the top part of the first toe of her right foot. It was not a blister.
The doctor had to wrap a thick bandage around the affected toe before she could continue playing.
The injury hindered Chen’s movement on the court and she was seen wincing in pain between rallies.
In the third game, Chen had a different pair of shoes brought to her and she changed her shoes.
The Olympic champion managed to win the match 16-21, 21-19, 21-14.
During the post-match interview, Chen said, “The front of the shoe may have been torn while taking a shot, and the steel thread inside (the shoe) cut my foot.
“It will affect my performance especially when I lunge forward but I will try to overcome it.”
Chen was wearing thick towel socks and it is mind-boggling how the thread cut through the socks.
The model of the shoe which Chen Yu Fei was wearing is the Li Ning 2021 New Falcon Eagle IV (AYAR006-2) professional women’s badminton shoe.
The shoe has Li Ning’s “TUFF TIP” technology which features an extra layer of reinforcement around the toe area for better performance and enhanced durability.
Li Ning made an official statement today regarding the incident. It said, “Chen Yu Fei suffered a sudden injury in the National Games badminton match.
“Li Ning Badminton is extremely concerned about Chen Yu Fei’s situation. Professional sports protection has always been the focus of Li Ning badminton. We immediately contacted the Zhejiang team and Chen Yu Fei herself to further follow up on the injury and the situation.”