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Badminton Star Zhang Zhi Jie Dead at 17 After Collapsing on Court During Asia Junior Championship

Badminton Star Zhang Zhijie Dies at 17 After Collapsing on the Court
Zhang Zhijie CCTV

Teenage badminton star Zhang Zhi Jie died on Sunday, June 30, after collapsing in the middle of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships.

Zhi Jie’s death was confirmed by the Badminton Asia and Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) one day later.

“China’s Zhang Zhi Jie, a single’s player, collapsed on the court during a match in the evening and was sent to hospital where he passed away at 23:30 local time yesterday,” a Monday, July 1, statement read via X. “Zhi Jie was playing a group stage match against Japan when he collapsed and was attended to by the tournament doctor and medical team.”

After collapsing, Zhi Jie was taken to a local hospital via ambulance.

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“Badminton Asia, PBSI and the organizing committee are immensely saddened and expressed their deepest condolences to Zhang’s parents, family and Chinese Badminton Association (CBA),” the statement added. “The world of badminton has lost a talented player.”

Zhi Jie was treated for seizures and cardiac arrest when he arrived at Indonesia’s Dr. Sardjito General Hospital.

“The conclusion of the examination and treatment of the victim at both hospitals showed the same results, namely that the victim experienced sudden cardiac arrest,” Broto Happy, who is the spokesperson for the Badminton Association of Indonesia, said in a news conference.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) also released a statement regarding Zhi Jie’s death, expressing their “deepest condolences” to his family.

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“Zhang’s death at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia is a tragic occurrence,” the Tuesday, July 2, X statement read. “We are taking all necessary steps to thoroughly review this matter in consultation with the Badminton Asia and Badminton Association of Indonesia. While the Badminton Asia Junior Championships are under the jurisdiction of Badminton Asia, BWF does have an overall set of medical guidelines and instructions that are available for use by other governing bodies hosting BWF-sanctioned tournaments.”

Badminton Star Zhang Zhijie Dies at 17 After Collapsing on the Court
Zhang Zhijie’s team — Chinese badminton players DEVI RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images

According to the statement, BWF is awaiting “an official report” from Badminton Asia and the Local Organizing Committee to “assess whether the correct medical procedures were followed” when Zhi Jie collapsed on the court. (Social media footage from the match showed Zhi Jie having a seizure for approximately 30 seconds before any aid appeared to be provided by a medical professional on-site.)

“The tournament doctor, under the direction of the referees, has the responsibility to respond to emergencies on the court, including suspected cardiac arrest,” the note continued. “And, in this scenario, to provide intervention until proper medical services can be available. … Following the completion of our review, we will determine whether specific aspects of these guidelines need to be changed.”

The Badminton Asia Junior Championships started on Saturday, June 28, and runs through Wednesday, July 7, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. When the tournament’s quarterfinals resumed on Monday, players held a moment of silence in Zhi Jie’s honor.

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