Defending champion Carolina Marin was forced to withdraw from the BWF World Champion to be held in Basel, Switzerland, from August 19-25 after failing to recover completely from the knee injury she suffered during the Indonesia Masters final in January earlier this year.

Marine, who had undergone a knee surgery on January 29, had first accepted the invitation to play in Basel as she felt that she could recover in time to play in the world championship but put out a video message on Sunday explaining the reasons for a late withdrawal.

“Me and my team has decided that we aren’t going to play the World Championship because we are very short of time. The recovery is going well and the knee is running well. So we will wait till the tournaments of September,” she said in the message.

Marin had earlier hinted at a possible withdrawal a few days ago during an event back home that she wasn’t sure of going to the World Championship and would take a call closer to the tournament as her main focus was to be at her best for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol would replace Marin in the tournament.

In good news for Indian badminton fans, HS Prannoy would be the fourth Indian men’s singles to play in the World Championship after the 27-year-old got a late call following withdrawals from former world champion Viktor Axelsen and China’s Shi Yuqi.

Denmark’s Axelsen withdrew from the World Championship citing a back injury while Yuqi suffered an ankle injury at the Indonesia Open Super 1000 event last month and had to pull out.

The other three Indian men’s singles players who have already qualified for the World Championship are Kidambi Srikanth, Sameer Verma and B Sai Praneeth.