By Bridget O’Donnell
Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang are accused of purposely trying to lose in a match against South Korea so they didn’t have to face the other top-ranked Chinese team until the final round.
Eight female badminton players were disqualified from the London Olympics after trying to lose on purpose in an attempt to earn better elimination round seeds.
Two pairs from South Korea and one pair each from China and Indonesia were accused of “not using one’s best efforts to win.”
According to Deadspin, things started to look suspicious during a match between China and South Korea. Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China, and Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na of South Korea played a farce match with lazy shots that were purposefully launched into the net or out of bounds. Wang and Yu had incentive to lose because it would prevent them from playing the other top-ranked Chinese team until the final round. Once Jung and Kim sensed the plot, they attempted to lose in response. Meanwhile, fans at Wembley arena booed as it became apparent that neither team was trying to win.
South Korean coach Sung Han-kook, blamed the Chinese team, saying:
“The Chinese started this. They did it first. It’s a complicated thing with the draws. They didn’t want to meet each other in the semi-final, they don’t want that to happen.”
But Yu denied the accusation, telling media:
“Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first time we’ve played them and tomorrow it’s the knockout rounds, so we’ve already qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds.”
The Chinese Olympic Delegation is opening an investigation into Wang and Yu’s deliberate attempts to lose, according to Xinhua.
Find a video of the full match between China and Korea here.
Image via sina.com.