In parts of the world badminton is a big deal, so the news from London this morning is kind of shocking.
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Eight women badminton players were disqualified by the sport’s federation on Wednesday for deliberately trying to lose at the Olympics and manipulate the draw, angering fans and fellow athletes who said they undermined the spirit of the Games.
They were disqualified following a formal disciplinary hearing by the Badminton World Federation, but were not expelled from the Games. It was not clear what that meant for their future participation in London.
..In last night’s [matches] at Wembley Arena in London the crowd shouted abuse at the players as badminton matches descended into farce when the teams deliberately sprayed shots and duffed serves.
The players involved were China’s world champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and two South Korean pairs – Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung.
Men’s singles champion Lin Dan broke ranks with his badminton compatriots, saying such tactics were not in the Olympic spirit.
One observer noted that the matches featuring the top seeded teams looked like “drunken picnic badminton,” they were so bad.
Some of the disqualified players and teams have essentially blamed the format for their actions – saying they were trying to trying to set themselves up for the knockout rounds to avoid having to play strong competition in the early rounds.