Olympics: Nozomi Okuhara takes badminton bronze as injured Li Xuerui pulls out - report

Nozomi Okuhara of Japan reaches for a shot.
Nozomi Okuhara of Japan reaches for a shot.PHOTO: REUTERS
Japan's Nozomi Okuhara reacts after winning against Japan's Akane Yamaguchi during their women's singles quarter-final badminton match at the Riocentro stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 16.
Japan's Nozomi Okuhara reacts after winning against Japan's Akane Yamaguchi during their women's singles quarter-final badminton match at the Riocentro stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 16.PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Japan's Nozomi Okuhara will be awarded the women's singles badminton bronze medal after China's Li Xuerui pulled out of their clash with a knee injury, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday.

Reigning Olympic champion Li picked up the injury during her 21-14, 21-16 semi-final loss to Spanish top seed Carolina Marin on Thursday, Kyodo reported, citing the Nippon Badminton Association.

Okuhara lost to India's P.V. Sindhu in the other semi-final.

Examinations showed that Li tore her anterior cruciate ligament and also injured the lateral meniscus, Chinese head coach Li Yongbo told China's Xinhua News Agency.

"She already did a great job in the competition," Li said about his player.

Li's injury adds to a below par Olympic badminton tournament for Chinese shuttlers, who won all five golds at the London 2012 Games but have so far only picked up one bronze in Rio.

China still have a chance to land gold in the men's singles and men's doubles tournaments.