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England pulls out of India event amid attack fears
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 08 - 2009

England pulled out of the Badminton World Championships in Hyderabad, India, on Sunday amid concerns about the team's security.
Badminton England said in a statement that the decision followed “concerns about the English team potentially being a target of attack in the event of a terrorist act.”
The team had already arrived in India for the championships, due to start on Monday, but would be returning home immediately.
“The decision follows media reports of a specific Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist threat against the championships,” the statement said. “Following those reports, Badminton England felt the risk to the safety of the team was one they could not take.”
Security for sports teams in the subcontinent has been in question following the ambush of the Sri Lanka cricket team bus in Lahore, Pakistan in March that killed seven Pakistanis and wounded six players.
India itself remains nervous after militants killed 166 people in an attack on Mumbai last November.
England's cricket team had pulled out of their India tour following the Mumbai attacks before being persuaded to return and complete the series after an independent security assessment.
Lin Dan chases titles
Chinese ace Lin Dan is poised to become the first player in Badminton Championship history to win three successive men's singles titles.
Defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Lin, winner of the World Championship in 2006 and 2007, has held an edge over his Malaysian arch-rival Lee Chong Wei in major events and will hope to extend that in the event beginning Monday in Hyderabad.
His aggressive style, which earned Lin the nickname of ‘Super Dan', was the feature of his triumphs over No. 1-ranked Lee in the finals at last year's Beijing Olympics and at the All-England Open in Birmingham.
Lin will carry that confidence into the upcoming tournament, while Lee will be burdened by the unhappy memory of his last sojourn to this southern Indian city, where he made a first-round exit from the Indian Open five months ago, after a bout of food poisoning.
Lin and his top-seeded arch-rival Lee are both drawn in the top-half of the championship along with seasoned Danish star and former silver medalist Peter Gade, who is seeded No. 3.
In the other half, second-seeded Chinese Jin Chen and former world champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia, No. 4 seed this time, have a relatively easier draw.
Title holder Lin's low No. 5 seeding is because his world ranking dropped due to non-participation in several Super Series events.
A potential semifinal encounter between Lin and Lee could be the showpiece of the event, with Lee eager to clinch his maiden World Championship.


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