Badminton-gate: Olympic cheaters or clever competitors?
It was one of sports' biggest shames yet when 4,800 fans around the Wembley Arena witnessed four women's doubles teams deliberately lose their matches so to arrange facing easier opponents in the knockout stages of the tournament.
One Chinese team, two South Korean teams and one Indonesian team were seen as "not using one's best efforts to win a match" by the BWF (Badminton World Federation), and have been disqualified from the tournament on grounds of being "clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport".
The knocked out players were Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli of China, South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung and Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari.
Commenting on the issue, Chinese World No.1 Lin Dan later told reporters at the Wembley Arena, that he himself didn't quite agree with the tournament format, which allowed for the possibility of match fixing in this way.
Lin Dan told reporters, "Why would the tournament have rules like this? If they just had a knockout round,it would be all fine. You lose, and that's the end".
Lin Dan's compatriot, Yu Yang - who was one of the eight players found guilty of throwing matches, has even announced that this would be her last involvement in badminton, deciding to quit the sport for good.
Yu Yang, one part of the World No.1 Women's Doubles team with her teammate Wang Xiaoli, left a public message on her microblog, saying, "Goodbye BWF, goodbye my beloved badminton".
"If they just had a knockout round, it would be all fine. You lose, and that's the end" - Lin Dan
The outraged Chinese player insists that she and her teammate were simply "using the rules to abandon the match... so as to be able to compete better in the second round...".
She then went on to say, "You have heartlessly shattered our dreams... this is unforgiveable".
The question for ardent badminton fans remains that, was it right for the teams "not using their best efforts" to have been disqualified? Or were they sticking to the rules of play, and simply being clever going about the competition?
Or, was it a justifiable disqualification, in which all players should always do their best in every match for the benefit of 'good badminton' and fan enjoyment, over winning medals?
What do you think?
Here's a similar instance using Formula One as an example.
In Formula One, the pinnacle of motor racing, we always see competing teams pushing the absolute limits of the rules in order to win.
One example, Red Bull Racing, the reigning World Champions, have accomplished most of their success by constantly pushing the legal interpretations of the rules - borderline breaking them, causing the sport's governing body to continuously be on their toes to keep up, and adapt the rules to better manage what's allowed and what isn't.
Another example, would be a Formula One team's use of 'Team Orders' - now a legal act, in which teams may issue an 'order' to one of their drivers to let a teammate overtake them to gain an advantage/ points. Yes, it does alter a natural result, yet ruling bodies allow it for the greater pursuit of championship titles.
This constant being on the limit of what's legal and not, and the continuous pushing of these limits is what keeps Formula One so exciting.
Should badminton and the BWF encourage a similar attitude? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
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I fully agree with Gamesmanship. The rules maker should know better about this as the players did not
break any rules. They just exploit the loopholes. The rules maker should have learnt from the past
when Lin Dan withdrew on many occasions previously to allow other Chinese players to gain points
to increase their chances of having 3 players in the Men's singles in the Olympics.
They should instead take action earlier to plug this loopholes!
badminton players should adopted spirit of beating every competitors player to win the olympic gold medal not to avoid certain players in the tournament. that's not really champion material so to speak.
The sports world today is what it is today Because of the MONEY!
Every player is promised the sytars and moon by the Governments and sports bodies!
Can you blame them for wanting the MONEY more than anything else?
There is no more national pride of doing your country proud...IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY
MONEY MONEY MONEY!
THE ROOT CAUSE OF ALL THAT IS "EVIL"
The rule makers have themselves to question over this fiasco.
The players are responding in accordance with the rules of the game and that's how the game is to or may be played.
So...really, who is to be blamed ?
The rule maker or the rule follower or both ?
Sportsmanship? No.. Is it legal? Yes, coz there,s no rules about it. Who decides the rules? ...hu3..
BWF should have adapeted a more suitable system to prevent all this, it's like Lin Dan will be like giving reasons to be out of the game when the competition is in the middle of nowhere to let other china to play. Why wait until olympic
The format has loop holes and this has to be retify. Every match has to be carefully plan. It is definately not the players fault. Hope to see changes soon.
I think to avoid all these happening again, we shall allow only the best player for single player and the best team for double player of each country to participate in every Olympic Game. As they are representing country to participate, not personal, only the best from the country to challenge with other country best player. This is also fair to other country that only have one best player. They will not being played around with this trick as they have no second team to cooperate for. With this one country one team rules, there will never happen that one country can get all Gold, Silver, Bronze in one games.