Fury as Chinese 'lose on purpose to avoid playing compatriots'
Wednesday 01 August 2012
The Chinese and South Korean badminton teams last night incurred the wrath of the paying public at Wembley Arena by consistently serving into the net and fluffing routine shots in an apparent bid to manipulate the draw and avoid their countrymen before the final.
The bizarre scenes at the women's doubles match between South Korea and China saw both teams, who had already qualified for the quarter finals, serving the shuttlecock into the net – with the referee warning the players about their conduct. China's pairing of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang eventually fell to a comprehensive defeat in a bid to finish second in their group.
Enraged spectators heckled the four players during and after the abject performance, which saw all four players on court miss routine shots, hitting them long or dumping them into the net. Tickets for the session cost between £20 and £75. Twice the referee came onto the court to speak to the players before South Korea won 21-14 and 21-11. The capitulation will now see the Chinese pairing avoid playing the other Chinese women in the competition, Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, until the final.
Last night a Locog spokeswoman said officials were looking at the match but would not say when there would be a decision on action taken against the Chinese paring.
After the match Yu Yang claimed that she and her partner had tried to save energy for the knockout rounds. "Actually these opponents really were strong," she said. "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. Really, it's not necessary to go out hard again when the knockout rounds are tomorrow."
The bid to lose sparked a flurry of criticism among fans. "And so ends the debate about the necessity for groups," said the commentator Mark Phelan. "Cheating disguised as tactics has started. Olympic values flushed down the toilet."
Gail Emms, who won silver in the badminton for Britain at Athens in 2004, said she did not blame the Chinese pairing for their tactics. She tweeted: "Ok on court 2 was WD china vs Korea. Both pairs TRYING to lose!!! This is why the group system DOESN'T work!!! Tactically play for a gd draw in the knockout stages. And I don't blame the them!!" she tweeted.
Both South Korean players, declined to comment.
Kevin Pietersen saga: Chris Gayle offers untimely reminder of absent friend
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
Former British tennis No 1 Elena Baltacha told she has liver cancer
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United: Is Wayne Rooney really in Robin van Persie’s way at United?
Robin van Persie: Manchester United manager David Moyes a 'little bit surprised' after striker plays 90 minutes for Netherlands day after being sick
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 4 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast