A black card warning to compete or be disqualified is given to China's world champion duo of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang during their Tuesday match. They failed to respond and were forced to leave the Olympic tournament along with three other pairs.
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Head badminton referee Torsten Berg shows a black card to the world champion duo from China, the clearest warning possible that disqualification was coming unless they started to compete for victory.
Black day for women’s badminton
Four doubles pairs disqualified for failing to compete
Wembley Arena was full for the women's doubles badminton competition on Tuesday and the crowd was expecting a great show from China's world champion team Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang in their match against South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung.
What they got instead was probably the tournament’s dullest and least competitive match. The crowd quickly sensed that neither side seemed especially interested and made their displeasure known with jeers and whistles.
China’s Wang Xiaoli serves late in the match in front of a crowd clearly unhappy with the performance of the world number one team.
This had little effect and the powerful Chinese duo ended up losing the first set to the unseeded Koreans 21-14.
One very dissatisfied spectator was head badminton referee Torsten Berg of Denmark. Late in the first set, he stopped play and warned the players that failing to play competitively could lead to a disqualification.
When that failed to improve the performance, he walked over to both pairs during the break between sets and showed them a black card, the clearest warning possible that disqualification was imminent.
Again, the warning had no visible effect on play and the Chinese lost 21-11.
The reason for their lackadaisical play was not hard to understand. Wang and Yu had already qualified for the quarter-finals and by losing they avoided playing fellow Chinese pair Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei.
Yu said after the match: "We've already qualified, so why would we waste energy? It's not necessary to go out hard again when the knockout rounds are tomorrow."
Such thinking was totally unacceptable to Badminton World Federation officials and the Chinese, along with three other women’s pairs, were quickly disqualified – their South Korean opponents plus one other South Korean side and one from Indonesia.
Eight women — the reigning world champions from China, two doubles teams from South Korea and an Indonesian pair — were tossed from the London Olympics on Wednesday for blatantly attempting to lose their matches in order to manipulate the quarter-final pairings. AFP
"I'm very, very sorry this has happened for both the players and for the sport," Badminton World Federation secretary- general Thomas Lund said.
"We made this decision for the best interests of all the players."
Rather than dispute the decision, the head coach of China's badminton team Li Yongbo told Chinese media he was responsible for his world championship duo’s failure to compete for victory.
"As head coach, I owe the supporters of Chinese badminton and the Chinese TV audiences an apology," he was quoted as saying. "Chinese players failed to demonstrate the fine tradition and fighting spirit of the national team.
"It's me to blame."
referee – a person who is in charge of a sports game and who makes certain that the rules are followed ผู้ตัดสิน, กรรมการตัดสิน
duo – pair; two people who compete together as a team, work together or do something together คู่
warning – an action or statement telling someone of a possible problem or danger คำเตือน
disqualification – a decision not to allow someone to do something because they have done something wrong การตัดสิทธิ
victory – winning a competition or a battle ชัยชนะ
performance – the standard to which someone does something การกระทำ, การแสดง, การทำให้บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
dull – not interesting or exciting น่าเบื่อ, ไม่น่าสนใจ
competitive – having a high level of close competition แข่งขันสูง
sense – to become aware of something even though you cannot see it, hear it, etc รู้สึก
displeasure – the feeling of being annoyed or unhappy ความไม่พอใจ
jeers – shouting or laughing at someone in an unkind way ตะโกนด่า เสียดสี
whistle – to make a high sound ทำให้เกิดเสียงหวีดหวิว
unseeded – not chosen as a seed a player/team given a place on the list of those expected to win games in a particular competition)
spectator – a person who watches an activity, especially a sports event, without taking part ผู้เข้าชม
imminent – likely or certain to happen very soon ซึ่งใกล้จะเกิดขึ้น
visible – able to be seen ที่มองเห็นได้
lackadaisical – not showing enough care, spirit or enthusiasm ซึ่งไม่กระตือรือร้น, ซึ่งไม่ตั้งใจ
qualify – to be of a high enough standard to enter a competition; to defeat another person or team in order to enter or continue in a competition เข้ารอบ, ทำให้มีคุณสมบัติ
quarter-finals – competitions between the last eight competitors remaining in a tournament การแข่งขันก่อนรอบบรองชนะเลิศ
avoid – to try to prevent something from happening หลีกเลี่ยง
fellow – of people who live in the same country เพื่อนร่วมชาติ
knockout round – the part of a tournament when a losing team is forced out of the competition
federation – a large organisation made up of several smaller organisations or groups that share similar aims สหพันธ์, สมาคม
opponent – a person or team being competed against in a sports event คู่ต่อสู้
reigning champions – the current champions แชมป์ปัจจุบัน
tossed – thrown out; forced to leave
blatantly – in an obvious or open way โจ่งแจ้ง โอ้อวด อึกทึก
manipulate – to control something or someone to your advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly จัดการเพื่อหวังผลอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง
pairing – two people or things that are placed together, in this case, to compete against each other การจับคู่