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Badminton: Taufik Boycotts HK Open Semis
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Indonesia's badminton star Taufik Hidayat boycotted a semifinal match against defending champion Lin Dan of China because of a judging dispute at the Hong Kong Open yesterday.

Taufik, who claimed victory at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the world championship in 2005, announced he was quitting the match after a disagreement with the umpire.

Things went awry in first set when a sideline referee changed her call from an "out" to "in", giving Lin a 4-1 lead. 

Taufik disputed the call and asked the umpire for a score change. The umpire refused, which enraged the Indonesian. Taufik had already previously boycotted another match for the same reason during the men's team final against South Korea at the Asian Games in Busan in 2002.

Senior judging official Lui Ming Kai, who tried to mediate between Taufik and the umpire, was forced to announce the end of the match.

"The umpire and the sideline referee made the same judgment on the point but the player could not accept it. He insisted on boycotting the match, and all I could do was to accept his decision and to report it to the International Badminton Federation," Lui said.

While Taufik refused to comment on the match, his challenger Lin said it was an unexpected result.

"I didn't expect this," Lin said. "I hoped to have a good match as there are not many chances to play against Taufik.

"I think respecting the umpire's decision should be common sense for players. If I had been in the same situation, I would have chosen to go on playing.

"Actually it's just the beginning of the match, it's not a match point. No need to quit it just because of such a small dispute. Like players, referees also need time to warm up".

Lin has won four of eight previous matches against Taufik.

(CRI September 1, 2006)

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