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LinkAsia | Feb 19
When hermetically-sealed North Korea ran its third nuclear test this past week, the news first broke on Asian social media. It soon became the top ...
The Olympics are underway in London, where Asian athletes are winning medals, as well as finding themselves in the middle of controversy. First, an American swimming coach implied that a 16-year-old Chinese gold medalist, Ye Shiwen, had used illegal doping to win the 400-meter individual medley. Ye was ultimately cleared of the charges. And then came a real scandal. In badminton, athletes from China, Indonesia, and South Korea were expelled for intentionally trying to lose so that they could face weaker opponents in later rounds. Here's MBC with the story.
The women's badminton pair, Kim Ha-na and Jung Kyung-eun, met the Chinese team at the final matches of group play. China's number one ranked pair suddenly turned into a different team. Ridiculous defense. Serves into the net. Players didn't even seem depressed after making mistakes.
China is suspected of deliberately trying to lose the game in order to not play against another team from their country. South Korea caught on to China's trick and started playing the same way, prompting a controversy.
The referee issued a warning to the players, and then even the head of the badminton jury asked them to play seriously, but nothing changed. Spectators booed the comical situation. South Korea beat China 2-0. However, the players left the court amid spectators jeering.
Bang Su-hyun, MBC Badminton Commentator:
It's not in the spirit of the Olympics. Even if players play their own country's team, they should do their best during the game.
Later, in the game featuring the team of Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, neither player was doing her best. The Badminton World Federation announced that it would investigate the players involved and consider punishing them for infringing on the spirit of sports. The group stage was introduced to make more profit by increasing the number of games, but it ended up damaging the event.
Meanwhile, Lee Yong-dae and Jung Jae-sung beat the Malaysian team and reached the quarterfinals with three straight victories. Lee Hyun-il put away Jan Jorgensen 2-0 in a matchup of Olympic badminton champions.
One of the disqualified Chinese badminton players announced that she has quit the sport forever.