South Korea’s top badminton player Son Wan Ho suffered an achilles tendon rupture on Saturday, the 23rd May. He was playing a match against former world no. 1 Lee Hyun Il when this happened.
The unfortunate injury happened after Son wan Ho had won the first game. He was taken off the court on a stretcher.
It seems to be a full rupture of the achilles tendon and not just a tear. Surgery, recovery and rehabilitation is expected to take months with such an extent of injury.
The injury comes at a very bad time for Korean National Team and for Son Wan Ho personally. The injury means that Son Wan Ho is out of the Sudirman Cup in May 2019. He has been a spearhead in team competitions for the last 5-6 years. He has performed extremely well in previous episodes of the Sudirman Cup, and also Thomas and Uber Cup.
The injury also appears as a huge roadblock for Son Wan Ho’s Tokyo 2020 campaign. The Olympic qualifying period starts from April 29. Players need to play tournaments and collect as much points as they can in order to qualify for the olympics. Getting back to form and match fitness is also an issue many players face after an injury.
BWF rules responsible for injuries?
Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) regulations require top players to play at least 12 world tour events in one calendar year. On top of this, there are other tournament which players are committed to – Olympics, Continental Championships, Sudirman Cup, Thomas Cup, Commonwealth Games, National Championships etc.
Many players and associations have voiced their concerns with such a rule. Badminton Association of Malaysia expressed their concerns over this matter stating that it would take a toll on the body of a veteran like Lee Chong Wei if he was forced to play 14-15 tournaments per year.
With such a cramped schedule, players accumulate fatigue over time and risk injuries. Many other top players were also injured very recently. Olympic Gold Medalist Carolina Marin is recovering from her ACL surgery a few weeks ago. English mixed doubles player Gabby Adcock has also been nursing a foot injury for quite some time now. China’s upcoming star Gao Fangjie also suffered a major injury earlier in the year.
Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen has tweeted out this in the light of these events.
Many injuries atm.. let’s hope we are not ‘forced’ to play more tournaments in the future 👀
— Viktor Axelsen (@ViktorAxelsen) March 24, 2019