KOREA OPEN 2008 – Sparks and Racquets Fly in Final

Shuttles, harsh words, and even racquets flew in today’s men’s singles final in Seoul when the umpire refused to correct a disputed call that gave Lee Hyun Il his first […]
ImageShuttles, harsh words, and even racquets flew in today’s men’s singles final in Seoul when the umpire refused to correct a disputed call that gave Lee Hyun Il his first match point in game 3.

By Don Hearn, Live in Seoul. Photos: Badmintonphoto.com (Live)

The match had been tense all the way through and the umpire was very busy, correcting 4 calls by the line judges and calling each player for reaching over the net.

At 21-all in the tight third game, the line judge called a shuttle in and this time, the umpire refused to make a correction. went livid and began screaming at the umpire, then at Lee Hyun Il and finally threw his racquet past the umpire and past Korean coach Li Mao.

Li Mao then stormed toward Lin and things threatened to get physical with the Chinese coaches entering the fray as well but the tournament referees rushed in to calm things down and the match continued.

Lee kept his cool and finished the match, winning 4-21, 23-21, 25-23 to take his first win ever. After the match, he was his usual soft-spoken self, even while expressing his joy at his first home title.

Asked what Lin Dan had said to him after the controversial call, Lee replied "He asked me ‘You saw that shot! Wasn’t it out?’ but it’s the line judge’s call."

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net