Reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara withdrew from the women’s singles event of the World Superseries Finals to be held Dec. 13-17 in Dubai, national head coach Park Joo-bong revealed Saturday.
Okuhara, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, injured her right knee during September’s Japan Open Superseries tournament. She pulled out of the national championships on Wednesday citing the injury.
“It will be an inconvenience if she pulls out after entering the competition,” said Park.
The 22-year-old claimed the title in 2015 along with compatriot Kento Momota, who won the men’s singles title.
Park also said he has not yet decided if he will recommend that Momota returns to the national team at Sunday’s meeting with officials. Momota was suspended in 2016 for gambling at illegal casinos.
“I’m still thinking about it. The whole issue about the illegal gambling finished after he reflected deeply about it,” Park said. “Badminton is what is important so I will evaluate him based on his performance.”
Momota made his domestic comeback in May, and internationally in July at the Canada Open. He made a quarterfinal exit in the national championships.
The World Superseries Finals feature the top eight players or pairs in each discipline.