Dodgy doubles debacle blights badminton event
Updated: Tuesday, 31 Jul 2012 22:10
The women's doubles competition at London 2012 descended into farce and scandal at Wembley Arena as two pairs appeared to deliberately start playing to lose.
Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang and the South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na were booed off after an extraordinary match in which players regularly served into the net or hit wide apparently on purpose.
Both pairs had already qualified for the last 16 and their actions appeared to be an attempt to manipulate the final standings in Group A to avoid Chinese second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei until the final.
Tian and Zhao were sent off their natural path to the final as second seeds after losing to Denmark's Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen earlier in the day.
The downside to losing is that they could face a theoretically tougher quarter-final.
The Korean pair left court without speaking to waiting reporters to explain the reasons for their involvement in the fiasco after the 23-minute match.
Yu claimed she wanted to ease up ahead of the knockout phase.
She said: "Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first time we've played them and tomorrow it's the knockout rounds, so we've already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds.
"Really, it's not necessary to go out hard again when the knockout rounds are tomorrow."
The Korean pair won the match 21-14 21-11. The longest rally in the first game was just four strokes.
Match referee Thorsten Berg came on to court at one point to warn the players.