The women's badminton tournament at the 2012 London Olympics turned ugly on Tuesday, with multiple teams accused of throwing preliminary round matches. The women's teams from China, Indonesia and South Korea began to give up points to their opponents in order to lose, providing a better draw in the elimination round.
A member of the Badminton World Federation, Paisan Rangsikitpho, discussed these allegations:
"If it's true what I hear, this is a shame and I don't like it. And I'm not going to accept anything that I don't like at all. It's not in a good spirit.
"It is (embarrassing) at the Games. I apologize to the public, I apologize for everyone and I am not happy. If we have to stay up all night, we will have a serious meeting."
The Federation did meet later on and formally announced that eight women would be charged 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." Punishments are not yet known.
As things went, there has been plenty of finger-pointing over how this began. The South Korean coach, Sung Han-kook, admits to having his two teams concede points to the Chinese and Indonesian teams so that his teams wouldn't face each other in the knockout round. However, Sung Han-kook accused the Chinese teams of doing it first, since they did not want the same thing happening.
The evening match between South Korea's Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min Jung and Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari nearly ended in a disqualification on the court when it became apparent -- especially with the crowd booing -- that neither team was looking to win. However, the decision was reversed and South Korea won in three sets.
The Chinese Olympic Committee is investigating these accusations.
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