Amid controversy, badminton goes on

In the aftermath of Wednesday morning's revelations that four teams in the women's doubles badminton draw were kicked out of the London Olympics, China's Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei moved into the semifinals.

Tian and Zhao are the No. 2 team in the tournament, which is now missing the top-ranked team of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, also from China.

Wang and Yu were one of the four pairs expelled by the Badminton World Federation, accused of throwing matches in the tournament.

The teams, which also include two pairs from South Korea and one from Indonesia, had already advanced to the quarterfinals. They were suspected of trying to manipulate the draw of the knockout stages in their favor.

After the BWF held hearings Wednesday morning at Wembley Arena, where bans were considered only hours after badminton matches ended Tuesday night, the four teams were out.

Now Tian and Zhao represent China's lone medal hope. They needed 38 minutes to get past the Taiwanese pair of Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin.

The four teams that were inserted following the expulsions had to face each other. Those to advance were Russians Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova -- who have to face the Chinese next -- and Canada's Alex Bruce and Michele Li.

The Canadians will face Japan's Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa, seeded fourth. Those semifinals take place Thursday.

In other badminton action Wednesday, China's Wang Yihan, Wang Xin and Li Xuerui were among those to move into the quarterfinals of the women's singles tournament. They are seeded No. 1-3, respectively, while Wang Yihan is the reigning world champion.

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and China's Lin Dan, the top two seeds in the men's singles tournament, reached the quarterfinals.

China also has the top two teams in mixed doubles, and both reached the semifinals there.