Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian Olympic badminton players face disciplinary action over poor play last night that drew a caution from the umpire and jeers from spectators.
The Badminton World Federation today said it opened disciplinary cases against four women’s doubles teams for “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.”
World champions and top seeds Yu Yang, 26 and Wang Xiaoli, 23, from China and South Korea’s Jung Kyung-Eun, 22, and Kim Ha-Na, 22, had already made the quarterfinals. Korea won the Group A tie 2-0 to set up a meeting with China’s Tian Quing and Zhao Yunlei. By losing, the Chinese pair can’t meet their compatriots until the final.
The match referee warned the players at 14-10 in the first game after several serves from both teams hit the net. Tournament referee Torsten Berg of Denmark was called and told the teams that they faced punishment if they didn’t compete properly. South Korea head coach Sung Han Kook placed the blame with the Chinese pair.
“It’s not like the Olympics spirit to play like this,” Sung said at London’s Wembley Arena. “How could the No. 1 pair in the world play like this? They start playing mistakes.”
A second Korean pair, the third-seeded Ha Jung Eun, 25 and Kim Min Jung, 26, and Indonesia’s Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii, 24, are also involved in the case.
The BWF’s disciplinary committee is holding a formal hearing this morning, the ruling body said in a statement.
Yu, Wang, Jung and Kim were booed by the crowd as they exited after the South Korean pair won 21-14, 21-11.
Yu told journalists that she and her partner were already through and were conserving energy for the elimination stage.
“If we’re not playing the best, it’s because it doesn’t matter,” she said. “The most important thing is the elimination match.”
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