Four badminton teams disqualified from Games
The Olympics never fail to provide scandal and the sport of badminton at the London Games are no exception.
After eight players were disqualified after intentionally trying to lose, China’s Yu Yang posted a retirement note on microblogging website Tencent which read, “This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton.” Yang’s retirement has not been confirmed by Chinese Olympic officials, although they are demanding that their players publicly apologize.
Yang and her doubles teammate Wang Xiaoli were obviously playing poorly when nearly every return hit the net. The crowd chanted “Off! Off! Off!” as they could clearly tell the competition was not at the intense level of Olympic play. The Chinese duo was the first of four teams that allegedly tried to rig the teams they would play in the next round. Two South Korean teams and a pair from Indonesia followed suit; all received disqualification from the competition but were allowed to stay at the Games. This is the first apparent mass disqualification seen in Olympics history.
Newly introduced round-robin play was the reason teams cited for altering their approach. The original straight knockout method doesn’t allow for manipulation in which teams play each other at each stage of the tournament.
Chinese coach Li Yongbo took full responsibility for his team’s actions. “As the head coach, I owe the fans and the Chinese an apology,” Li stated. “Chinese players failed to demonstrate their fighting spirit of the national team. It’s me to blame.”
It is yet to be seen if China’s pair continues their quest for gold in future Olympic Games. It just won’t be this year.
Video of a thrown match is here.