YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A 17-year-old Chinese player died after collapsing on court during an Asian tournament in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province, Indonesia’s Badminton Association said Monday.

Zhang Zhijie was playing against Kazuma Kawano of Japan at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships on Sunday when he collapsed and had seizures.

Badminton officials said medical teams treated Zhang on court and he was rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

He was later taken to the Dr. Sardjito General Hospital, a main government hospital in Yogyakarta.

“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, spokesperson of Badminton Association of Indonesia, told reporters at a news conference.

Badminton players and officials in Yogyakarta paid tribute to Zhang by holding a minute of silence on the court Monday morning before the quarterfinals.

Badminton Asia said it was “immensely saddened” and expressed its condolences to Zhang’s parents and family, adding: “The world of badminton has lost a talented player.”

The Chinese Badminton Association offered its condolences and support to Zhang’s family, and described him as a player who “loved badminton and was an outstanding athlete of the national youth badminton team.”

The Chinese association said its team’s leader, coach, doctor, translator and the tournament medical staff acted quickly after Zhang appeared to faint on the court.

“We feel deeply distressed over the unfortunate death of Zhang Zhijie from a sudden illness while competing in an international competition,” the statement said. “We express our sincere gratitude to all sectors of the society for the concern and help given to Zhang Zhijie. We will do our best to provide help to Zhang Zhijie’s family.”


Associated Press video producers Liu Zheng and Caroline Chen in Beijing contributed to this report.


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