Posted: 2 August, 2012
by Triple M Sport
Eight Badminton Players Disqualified From Games For Throwing Matches
Badminton has been rocked by a scandal that resulted in four women's pairs being disqualified from the Games for throwing matches.
Great Britain has won the first gold medal of its home Olympics on a day when badminton was rocked by a scandal that resulted in four women's pairs being disqualified from the Games for throwing matches.
As Great Britain was celebrating the rowing gold won by Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the double sculls at Eton Dorney, a disciplinary hearing was determining the fate of badminton pairs from China, Indonesia and two from South Korea.
They were charged with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" by the Badminton World Federation after two quarter-finals matches in which players were jeered for serving into the net and playing apparently deliberate wide shots.
Australians Renuga Veeran and Leanne Choo are among the duos being thrown an unexpected lifeline as a result of the mass disqualification, but Indonesian Olympic team leader Erick Thohir has already flagged an appeal.
The IOC said there would be no ticket refunds, despite fans being left disappointed by the display on Tuesday night, and booing the players off court.
LOCOG chairman Seb Coe described the incident as "unacceptable".
"(It's) Depressing. Who wants to sit through something like that?," he said.
It's claimed the world champion Chinese pairing of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang may have played badly to avoid meeting their fellow countrymen earlier than expected, thus setting up a potential gold and silver medal for China.
The longest rally in their first game was only four strokes. The umpire warned them and tournament referee Torsten Berg spoke to all four players but it had little effect. At one stage Berg showed a black card which usually means disqualification, but the game continued.
Eventually, the Chinese women lost 21-14, 21-11 but the problem was repeated in the next women's doubles match between South Korea's Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.
"If they play right, the Chinese team, this wouldn't happen," said South Korea head coach Sung Han-kook. "So we did the same because we don't want to play Korea. Nobody likes playing against strong players."
The South Koreans filed a protest with the referees, as did Australia's coach Lasse Bundgaard, who blamed the group format for the controversy.
"It's not good when you create a tournament where the players are put in this situation," he said. "If you can win a medal by losing, but not by winning, that's not a good situation to be put in."
Chinese state media on Wednesday denounced its women's doubles teams.
The Chinese Olympic Committee said they were "devoted to promoting the Olympic spirit" and opposed "any kind of behaviour that violates the sporting spirit and morality" of the Games.
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