Jakarta, IO – Indonesian badminton is in mourning: talented athlete Az-Zahra Putri Dania died an untimely death, at the age of 19, of lymphatic node cancer, on Monday, 27 February.
“Innalillahi wa inna Ilaihi roji’un, in truth we all belong to Allah, and to Allah we all shall return. The great family of the PP PBSI expresses its deepest condolence over the return of Indonesia’s young athlete to her Maker: Az-Zahra Putri Dania has breathed her last today, Monday, 27 February 2023 because of her illness,” reported the Indonesian Badminton Association’s official social media account.
Born in Bogor on 28 July 2004, Dania joined the Enghian Badminton Academy and the Ragunan Athlete School during her Middle to High School years and entered the National Centralized Practice (Pemusatan Latihan Nasional – “Pelatnas”) scheme in 2022. She passed the national selection after having won the Junior Mixed Doubles match alongside Rafli Ramanda. Together, they became the world’s 168th Mixed Doubles Pair, and won became the runners-up in the 2022 Slovenia International Tournament. Dania was also part of the Indonesian Junior Team in the 2022 BWF World Junior Championships in Santander, Spain, and won a bronze.
Unfortunately, Dania was phased out of Pelatnas in December 2022, after receiving her diagnosis of lymphatic node cancer. “It is always standard procedure for the Pelatnas to screen all of the athletes it summons through medical checkups. This is quite painful for everyone involved, because Dania was given a clean bill of health back in January 2022,” declared Head of the Indonesian Badminton Association Central Management’s PR and Media Division, Broto Happy. “We never knew that she incurred the disease sometime in the past year. We only learned about her illness when we returned her to her original club in late 2022.”
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Broto tearfully regret Dania’s loss, as she was a very talented and strong-willed player. “I noticed just how amazing she was during her days in the Association’s – she was so passionate… As a new player who dreamt to become a champion, I believe that she would have been able to make it – she had such amazing work ethics and was always passionate during practice.”
Farewell, dear Dania. May you be happy in Heaven, and play in better fields up there. (rp)