S. Korean coaches blast at Chinese badminton players' dubious loss

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0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 1, 2012
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By Sportswriters Bai Xu and Ji Ye

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese badminton players Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli lost a women's doubles match in a suspicious way at the Wembley Arena on Tuesday evening, causing an angry outcry from South Korean coaches and spectators.

The dubious loss kept the Chinese duo from meeting their compatriots earlier.

South Korea head coach Sung Han-Kook accused the Chinese players of starting a nasty show.

"They (Chinese) didn't want to meet each other in the semifinal," he said. "The Badminton World Federation should do something about it."

Another South Korean coach, Kim Moon-Soo, said: "I think the Chinese players violated the Olympic spirit when they deliberately missed their serves."

Yu and Wang looked sluggish throughout the game, while their South Korean rivals - Jung Kyung-Eun and Kim Ha-Na, were not as aggressive as usual, either. In the end, the South Koreans won 21-14 and 21-11.

The umpire called a halt in the middle of the first set following a series of serves hit into the net by both sides and reminded the pairs to take the game seriously. But the situation didn't seem to change.

Yu and Wang served into the net at least three times, while the South Koreans missed their serves a few times or simply struck the shuttlecook wide.

The second set saw the four players make as many mistakes as in the first set.

It was only when spectators began booing and whistling did they lash some smashes.

When the competition finished, the players walked out of the arena in hoots of derision.

The competition was watched by Kang Young-Joong, Badminton World Federation President, who would not make any comments.

Both pairs have already qualified from Group A and will meet players from Group C in the quarterfinals.

Another Chinese pair, Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, were beaten by Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen from Denmark to rank second in Group D. Yu and Wang's loss means the two Chinese pairs won't meet until, if they both are doing well, the final.

After the game, Yu told reporters at the mixed zone that they were facing the South Korean pair for the first time, who were "actually very strong."

"We will play a quarter-final tomorrow and we were conserving energy for that," she said.

"We wanted to give spectators a good match, but we are professional players and we need good results."

A source with the Chinese team told Xinhua that Yu injured her right knee while doing warmup before the game.

The source accused the South Korean duo of trying to lose the game in order to avoid an early meeting with the other Chinese pair, saying "the South Koreans didn't take the game seriosuly and they didn't do warmup at all before the game."

"It was the South Koreans who missed their serves first," the source said.

David Wakefield, a British spectator, said lackluster play was "unacceptable".

"This is below international standard, even the training standard," he told Xinhua. "It is unfair for other players. If they were playing this way, players from Team GB would have chance to win."

His friend Chris Wanless was dissatisfied with attitude of the players and curious to know the reason.

"Was it because of too much pressure?" he asked. "I saw the referee talking with them. Maybe he was just telling them to ignore the crowd."

"China is a kind nation with great sport spirit," said Wanless, an avid fan of 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen, who won the women's 400m individual medley in a world record time on Saturday.

"China should be an inspiration for the rest of the world," he said, noting that Chinese athletes should be "role models".

In comparison, Chinese audience showed more understanding.

A girl who declined to be named flew over from Beijing to watch badminton matches. She said she has bought tickets from the first round to the finals.

"I noticed both sides were not in shape and I was kind of worried," she said. "Are they injured? I hope they are OK and I am looking forward to seeing them playing in the following days." Enditem

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