SINGAPORE - Reigning Olympic champion Chen Long will not feature at this week's OUE Singapore Open, after withdrawing from the Apr 11-16 badminton tournament citing injury.
The Chinese world No. 4 would have been the biggest name on the Chinese team at the Superseries event, but did not make the trip to Singapore, having already handed a walkover in the quarter-finals of last week's Malaysia Open.
India's 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, the world No. 9, will also be absent from the Singapore Indoor Stadium, while Singapore's Liang Xiaoyu (No. 24) has also been ruled out due to a hip injury.
Malaysia's Olympic silver medallists Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying were also among the late withdrawals.
The withdrawals were announced at the team managers' meeting on Monday, a day before the tournament began.
Denmark's Viktor Axelsen, bronze medallist at the Rio Games last August, will now be top player in the men's singles. The women's singles remains a star-studded cast, with world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying, No. 2 P.V. Sindhu and Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the line-up. Defending champions Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia and Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon are also pencilled in.
Singapore will field a largely young and inexperienced team, with shuttlers mostly 20 and under. Doubles specialist Danny Bawa Chrisnanta, a former top 10 mixed doubles player (with recently-retired Vanessa Neo), will be the most experienced while mixed doubles pair Terry Hee and Tan Wei Han, the world No. 15s, will likely be the Republic's best bet for a good showing at the event.