Tuesday, 22 November 2016 | MYT 5:49 PM
Jorgensen apologises, insists wasn't being disrespectful to Iskandar
PETALING JAYA: Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen has apologised to Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and insisted he wasn’t being “disrespectful” when he tossed a shirt emblazoned with the Malaysian flag during their China Open semi-final clash, prompting an angry reaction from fans.
Jorgensen, who clinched the China Open crown in Fuzhou by beating world No. 2 Chen Long, was slammed by netizens on social media after he was caught on camera tossing Iskandar’s shirt that was emblazoned with the Malaysian flag.
Iskandar, who was making his first Superseries semi-final appearance, said after the match that Jorgensen had tried to intimidate him.
But the duo, who are competing in the ongoing Hong Kong Open, have buried the hatchet now that world No. 6 Jorgensen has issued a public apology on his Facebook page.
“Ran into Iskandar outside the venue here in Hong Kong. We had a cordial chat about last week’s semi-final and the events that followed. We both agreed that things got somewhat out of hand and were blown out of proportion,” wrote Jorgensen.
“We are both competitors at the very highest level and understand the intensity required to succeed. Things are said and actions are taken in the heat of battle, but make no mistake. I have a ton of respect for Iskandar and for the Malaysian people. I’d like to stress that my intentions were never meant to be disrespectful.
“I’m very pleased that Iskandar and I can now bury the hatchet and I look forward to more battles in the years to come. I certainly wish him all the best in the future.”
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) deputy president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria was glad that the pair have put aside their differences.
“It wasn’t very nice of Jorgensen, as a professional and a senior player, to do that towards Iskandar. But he has apologised and that’s good. It’s also a good lesson for Iskandar,” said Norza.
World No. 33 Iskandar, who leads the men’s singles challenge in Hong Kong in the absence of world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, takes on world No. 13 and home favourite Angus Ng Ka Long in the first round on Wednesday.