Olympics badminton: Eight women disqualified from doubles

LONDON. August 1. KAZINFORM Eight badminton players have been disqualified from the women's doubles competition after being accused of "not using one's best efforts to win", according to BBC.

Two pairs from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia made a series of basic errors in Tuesday's matches.

All four pairs were accused of wanting to lose, in an attempt to manipulate the draw for the knockout stage.

Indonesia and South Korea have appealed and a decision is expected before Wednesday's quarter-finals (19:00 BST).

The Badminton World Federation    met on Wednesday morning to discuss the case. As well as the "not using best efforts" charge, the players were also accused of "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".

Teams had blamed the introduction of a round-robin stage rather than a straight knockout tournament as the catalyst. In the round-robin format, losing one game can ultimately lead to an easier match-up in the next round. However one Chinese player said their actions were due to them trying to preserve energy ahead of the knockout stages.

In the first women's doubles match at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night, fans jeered China's Yu Yang  and Wang Xiaoli  and South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun  and Kim Ha-na  .

The longest rally in the first game lasted only four shots, with match referee Thorsten Berg appearing on court at one point to warn the players.

South Korea won the Group A match,  which lasted 23 minutes, 21-14 21-11.

Both pairs knew the winners would face China's Tian Quing and Zhao Yunlei.

With Yu and Wang losing, the two Chinese pairings could have only met in the final.

Speaking before the disqualification verdict was released, South Korea's coach Sung Han-kook, said: "The Chinese started this. They did it first. It's a complicated thing with the draws. They didn't want to meet each other in the semi-final, they don't want that to happen.

"They (BWF) should do something about that."

But Yu said the Chinese were aiming to preserve energy ahead of the knockout stages.

She said: "Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first time we've played them and tomorrow it's the knockout rounds, so we've already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds."

A later match between South Korean third seeds Ha Jung-Eun  and Kim Min-Jung  and Indonesian pair Meiliana Juahari  and Greysia Polii  was played out in a similar atmosphere.

Referee Berg returned to court and brandished the black card, signalling disqualification, but it was rescinded and the match resumed when the Indonesians protested.

Both pairs had also already qualified for the knockout stages, with the winners of Group C to play Yu and Wang and the Korean pairs to face each other if Ha and Kim lost.

The Koreans won 18-21 21-14 21-12 and did not comment before leaving the court, but Polii said: "I don't know what happened. If that's the game, we have to accept all the things.

"Either they want to trust us - we play bad or we play good. Our control is only to play as good as we can."

Gail Emms, a badminton Olympic silver medallist for Great Britain in 2004, who was at the event for BBC Sport, said: "I'm furious. It is very embarrassing for our sport.

"This is the Olympic Games. This is something that is not acceptable. The crowd paid good money to watch two matches."

China's Olympic sports delegation has begun an investigation  into the matches, state media reported. The country's Olympic Committee opposed any behaviour which violated "sporting spirit and morality", a spokesman said.

Further action could be taken based on the results of the investigation, the spokesman said in a report published by Xinhua news agency.


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