Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Badminton star quits sport after Olympics scandal

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Wang Xiaoli and Yang Yu of China leave the court with Ha Na Kim and Kyung Eun Jung of Korea after their Women's Doubles Badminton on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

One of the players involved in the badminton match-fixing scandal at London 2012 has reportedly quit the sport.

Yu Yang, who was one of eight players disqualified yesterday for deliberately trying to lose matches on Tuesday night, reportedly made her announcement via a verified account on Chinese social media site Weibo.

"This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton," she posted.

Four women's pairs, Yu and Weng Xiaoli from China, South Korean pairs Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, and Indonesian duo Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii, were disqualified after throwing games in order to manipulate the draw in the round-robin stages.

They were replaced in the quarter-finals by the pairs who finished third and fourth in the two groups affected by the scandal.

The Koreans failed to overturn the decision after lodging an appeal, while the Indonesians withdrew their attempt to contest the charges.

Meanwhile Chinese head coach Li Yongbo has taken responsibility for the farce, telling Chinese news agency Xinhua: "As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology.

"Chinese players failed to demonstrate the fine tradition and fighting spirit of the national team.

"It's me to blame."

The fiasco had its roots in the unexpected loss of China's second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei to Denmark's Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen early on Tuesday.

Top seeds Wang and Yu then tried to engineer defeat against Jung and Kim Ha-na to avoid finishing top of Group A and going into the same half of the last-eight draw as their compatriots.

The Koreans rumbled the ruse and vainly tried to copy it in retaliation before the second Korean pair, Ha and Kim Min-jung, went a step further by refusing to play properly against Jauhari and Polii.

The Indonesians did not prove innocent bystanders either as they tried to deny them their objective by attempting the same thing.

Serves were hit straight into the net or out of court and other shots put wide.

The large evening crowd were incensed and booed almost every defective shot.

BWF secretary-general Thomas Lund said: "The regulations clearly state you have to win every match and you cannot throw some matches to win other matches.

"There's no two ways about that and that is what the disciplinary committee found in the principles of the Olympic spirit.

"The disqualification is from this event and there are no further punishments from now on."

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