Badminton-obsessed Indonesians are mourning the loss of young badminton star Syabda Perkasa Belawa, who was killed in an auto accident in Central Java.
According to reports, the 21-year-old Jakartan was driving his father, mother, and sibling to Sragen Regency in the early hours of Monday to attend the funeral of his grandmother, who passed away the day before.
At some point, the shuttler’s father, Muanis Hadi Sutamto, took over driving duty.
Tragically, Muanis rear-ended his Toyota Camry into a truck on a highway in Pemalang Regency. Syabda and his mother died as a result of the collision. Muanis is in critical condition, while Syabda’s siblings sustained quite severe injuries.
It’s not yet clear what caused the collision – but authorities suspect that Muanis was drowsy and lost control of the vehicle.
Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) athletes competing at the Swiss Open 2023 held a group prayer for Syabda this morning. Syabda’s girlfriend, fellow shuttler Pitha Mentari, is seen sitting on the floor and crying during the prayer. She is representing Indonesia in the mixed doubles category just days after Syabda’s passing.
Syabda was celebrated as a hero in last year’s prestigious Thomas Cup in Bangkok, during which he won a decisive match that took Indonesia to the quarter finals at South Korea’s expense. Indonesia eventually lost the final to India.
Syabda won three titles in his short career, namely the Lithuanian International and Malaysian International Series in 2022, as well as the Iranian International Series in 2023.
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