The Badminton Superseries Finals have just finished, showing China’s supremacy over the sport with 4 titles scooped out of 5 possible. In these Superseries Finals – for the highlight of the season – one women’s doubles semi-final was not played, between the pair of Wang Xiaoli / Yu Yang and Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei. Detailed analysis of 2011 badminton results shows that walkovers and retired matches have been common between Chinese compatriots throughout the year.
Statistics compiled from the results of the main draws of all individual tournaments played in 2011 – Grand Prix, Grand Prix Gold, Superseries (the top three levels of competition in the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) regular calendar) along with the BWF World Championships and OSIM BWF World Superseries Finals, show that more than 20 percent of matches is either not finished or not played when Chinese shuttlers play against their own compatriots. Chinese shuttlers met each other 99 times on the circuit this year, and 20 matches were either not played at all (11 walkovers) or played partially before one of the opponents retired (9 retirements). This shows that 20.20% of matches between Chinese shutters were not completed in 2011.
0.74% of matches uncompleted between China and other nations
Statistics have also been compiled for when Chinese shuttlers play other nations. When Chinese shuttlers meet non-Chinese opponents, the percentage of withdrawals drops to 0.21% (2 matches out of a total of 943 matches) and retirements drop to 0.53% (5 matches out of 943 matches), for a total of 0.74% of matches not completed when China plays another nation.
When other nations play compatriots…
Corresponding numbers have been compiled to highlight the numbers and statistics when players from nations from other than China play against their own compatriots. In this case, the statistics show that out of 190 matches played between compatriots, 10 were either not played or not finished, which means 5.27% of matches not completed between compatriots. (Amongst these 10 matches, 5 were between Koreans, 2 between Malaysians, 2 between Indonesians and one between Germans)
These figures have to be put in perspective as China has the largest contingent of players at high level – more than a third of the matches played between compatriots (99 of 289 matches) are played between Chinese shuttlers. Never the less, it has raised some questions amongst the badminton community.
After complaints were made by some national federations and some players about these large numbers of withdrawals, the Badminton World Federation issued a statement on August 15th, 2011 regarding measures to be taken should there be any sign of irregularities. That statement reads:
« A special assessment will be conducted for any main draw matches between players from the same country. This will include special focused monitoring by the tournament referee or other BWF officials, whereby all of these matches from the quarterfinals onwards (and possibility of earlier stages) will be taped to ensure necessary documentation is on hand if irregularities are suspected and flagged for a review by the BWF disciplinary committee.
If compelling evidence is found of any irregularities, the matter will be treated with the utmost gravity by the BWF and severe penalties will be imposed. » [see full statement]
As of December 15th, no penalties have been issued by BWF to any nations on such grounds but the world governing body is still monitoring whether cases should be taken to a disciplinary measure.
The statistics were compiled by Badzine (thanks to Loh Shih Ying) based on the official source of results www.tournamentsoftware.com for all 12 Superseries tournaments, 15 Grand Prix / Grand Prix Gold events, the 2011 Superseries Finals and the 2011 World Championships – a total of 29 tournaments and 4648 matches.
Here are the full statistics :