OLYMPICS Day 4 – Doubles disgrace!

Eight women’s doubles players are now the subject of disciplinary action by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the disgraceful performance in the last two matches of group round robin […]
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Left to right: Wang Xiaoli, Yu Yang (China), Jung Kyung Eun, Kim Ha Na (Korea), four of the players facing disciplinary action at the London

Eight women’s doubles players are now the subject of disciplinary action by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for the disgraceful performance in the last two matches of group round robin play at the London Olympics.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

The BWF today issued a press release stating that Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang  of China, Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari of Indonesia and Jung Kyung Eun, Kim Ha Na, Ha Jung Eun, and Kim Min Jung, all of Korea, have been charged under BWF’s Players’ Code of Conduct – Sections 4.5 and 4.16 respectively – with “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 matches at issue were the last contests of their group round robin.  All four pairs had already secured quarter-final spots going into their Tuesday matches and only their placement in the quarter-final draw would be affected by the results of the controversial matches.  Earlier, China’s Tian Qing / Zhao Yunlei had been upset by their Danish opponents, meaning that they would be placed in the top half of the quarter-final draw, where everyone expected World Champions Wang/Yu would end up after topping Group A.

Kim Min Jung (left) and Ha Jung Eun of Korea

However, on court, both Wang/Yu and their opponents Jung Kyung Eun / Kim Ha Na put on a disgraceful show.  The longest rally in the first game was 4 shots and after 7 service errors and 4 laughable errors on return of serve in the first 22 rallies alone, the umpire switched off his microphone, called both pairs in for discussion.  The result was even worse, with the four players trading a succession of 6 service errors, five directly into the net and one long of the back line.

At this point, with the Koreans ahead 16-12, tournament referee Torsten Berg came on court and, in ‘earshot’ of the TV cameras, threatened both pairs with disqualification. The first game finished with one more service error each but plenty more lackadaisical play and booing from the crowd.

Meiliana Jauhari (left) and Greysia Polii of Indonesia

The second game was not nearly as obvious but still saw over a dozen amateur-looking errors by the Chinese pair with the Koreans posing no threat on the opposite side.  Wang/Yu reduced their service errors from eight to two in the second game.

With the result of the previous match guaranteeing the winner of the Korea-Indonesia contest a quarter-final showdown against world #1’s Wang/Yu, Ha/Kim and Jauhari/Polii also engaged in a match that aroused the ire of the crowd and the suspicion of BWF officials.

A final decision is expected after a formal hearing of the BWF Disciplinary Committee later on Wednesday morning.

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