Olympics’ first scandal: Eight badminton players suspended for throwing matches
No one wants to play the Chinese in badminton — not even the Chinese.
Eight badminton players — two pairs from South Korea, one from China, and one from Indonesia — were disqualified late Tuesday after trying to throw matches to manipulate the draw, in hopes of avoiding facing off against the top-ranked Chinese players.
While the rules do not officially prohibit players from throwing a match, the Olympic rulebook prohibits “not using one’s best efforts to win a match” and “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport.”
The games with two teams attempting to lose were reportedly comical: players weakly hitting the birdie against the net, sending it far out of bounds, or not even swinging at all. The Chinese teams resembled “bored children” during the pathetic volleys, according to NBC’s Matt Kitchen.
Now, guys, we get it: we’ve seen the nutty YouTube techno badminton video and we wouldn’t want to face the top teams either, but… at least pretend to have your head in the game next time?
The players involved were China’s world champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, South Korea’s Jung Kyung-eun, Kim Ha-na, Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, as well as Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari.