Four Korean badminton players DISQUALIFIED

I think Bobby might be editing his post below, but just in case, it has just been reported that eight badminton players—two Chinese, two Indonesians and four Koreans—have been disqualified for trying to throw their matches.

At least the Koreans have an excuse, says their coach:

South Korea head coach Sung Han-kook said his two pairings attempted to throw their matches against China’s world champion duo and the Indonesians but added it was in retaliation against the Chinese team who instigated the situation.

He said the Chinese deliberately tried to throw the first of the tainted matches to ensure their leading duo of Yu and Wang would not meet the country’s number two pair until the gold medal decider.

“The Chinese started this. They did it first,” Sung told reporters through an interpreter. “It’s a complicated thing with the draws. They didn’t want to meet each other in the semi-final.

“So we did the same. We didn’t want to play the South Korean team again (in the knockout stages).”

  • Bobby McGill

    Now THAT is an update.
    Serves them right, though. (rimshot)

  • Creo69

    Congrats to Michael Phelps! Even when his heart was no longer entirely into the sport he fought forward to become the greatest olympian ever…this is what the spirt of the Olympics is truly about.

  • ZenKimchi

    Thank Zeus I don’t teach kindergarten anymore. I don’t have to listen to those, “He did it first,” excuses.

  • ZenKimchi

    Looks like it’s also the top Olympic story right now internationally.

  • landry

    it is all about being a good sport. If the jerk gets the medal we hate him. it is how you act when you think no one is watching that shows greatness.

  • AED

    did they really have to appeal the DQ? it’d be better to just accept it and lay low, you’d think. even the chinese seem to know better by now.

  • 코리

    Really on the fence about this, I mean true it was an absolutely ridiculous display, but an equally ridiculous format created the situation in the first place. Also I can see the logic that the Korean and Indonesian teams followed that if they didn’t follow the Chinese to the bottom, then they essentially would be punished for winning while the Chinese would be rewarded for losses (likely with no fear of being called out, would have been much easier to tank a match with the other team actually trying, just a few timely mistakes).
    I don’t really know what the solution is, but doesn’t sit quite right all things considered. Maybe the Chinese and Koreans get punished by facing the matches they were trying to avoid? (Chinese vs. Chinese and Korean vs. Korean to start the knockouts)

  • cm

    Who appealed the DQ?

  • AED
  • kimchifrox

    I don’t even dare to go home this evening and to face my korean wife there… But hey, this is SO funny! And the Chinese seem to get smarter (Wanted to save the power for later) while the Koreans played Kindergarten (But they did it first). And all this in England in front of mostly English spectators – how unclever,
    A German

  • cm

    This is turning into a complete farce. There’s now controversy just about everyday. It’s all about winning however you may.

  • 코리

    Also, while it’s certainly not something for them to hang their hats on, the South Koreans did win both matches in question after the warning were given, so everyone was losers but the Koreans lost the least, right? Should that count for something?

  • Wedge

    Obviously the format sucks. Go to single elimination and no more shenanigans. For this stupidity the entire game should be removed from the Olympics.

    In 2040, during the last Olympics, they’ll look back at this one as the turning point for when people started losing interest in the spectacle.

  • Skippy

    I unfortunately made an error in watching the pathetic display put on by the doubles teams. What a disgrace! You deliberately put that kind of display on in front of a paying audience and you deserve to be disqualified.
    You know these athletes had the tacit approval of their coaches and federations –joke!
    The ‘they did it first’ is a complete joke!

  • ZenKimchi

    Well, it’s not called goodminton.

  • jkitchstk

    It’s evident that for adults like South Korean head coach Sung Han-kook, kindergarten excuses aren’t age restricted.

    The question is what’s in store for today, the day after that, and the day after that, and…If this behavior continues can the Summer Olympics ban countries from hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics?

  • Liz

    “Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified Wednesday from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament.”

    There’s probably a passage in Sun Tzu’s Art of War that explains exactly why they’re behaving like this, ahem…

  • Lastnamekim

    It’s badminton…who cares?!

  • WangKon936

    IMHO… I don’t think you should punish players for the loopholes in the rules you have failed to address.

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s the failure of the rules, absolutely, but the Korean coach shouldn’t have gone “Oh YEAH?!” on the Chinese (who were admittedly acting like… well, Chinese delegates in an international sporting event). There is absolutely no excuse for what the Korean badminton teams did.

    Sadly, I saw a lot of these “throw matches for better elimination pairing” in debate tournaments as well…

  • Inkevitch

    WangKon, there is no loop hole. There were DQed on the basis of the very clear rule that you must do your best to win. It is the format of the bracketing they need to address. Funnily the Chinese come out of this better as their main rival for the Gold has been knocked out at the mere expense of their number 2 team. Had the Koreans been smart they would have played and then complained to the judges after they easily won the first set.

  • WangKon936


    I am an amateur economist who believes people respond to incentives. Clearly, the formatting needs to be addressed in order to properly incentivize participants. Clearly, this does not mean players should not try their best to win, but when you have a warped system then people do strange things. Like Germany and extra garbage taxes. Germany thought to raise revenues they could simply increase the garbage tax. Well, please started to flush uneaten food down the toilet and overload the sewage system.

  • jkitchstk

    # 22,
    “but when you have a warped system then people do strange things.”

    The thing that’s “warped” is when players/coaches think they can get away with violating the code of conduct…
    “Thomas Lund, the secretary general of the Badminton World Federation, the sport’s governing body, said that the four sets of women violated the Players’ Code of Conduct, Sections 4.5 and 4.6, for “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.”

  • t_co
  • AC

    Just because you have a clause to say players must do their best to win, you’d be stupid to think that players should do this, i.e. play for the spirit, play for the paying crowd without giving any thought to what lies ahead in the upcoming rounds, medal hopes, fame and endorsements.

    If all other sports were determined as a head to head round robin and head to head Knock out rounds, surely you’ll see similar cases. Phelps trying to avoid Lochte in the quarters.

    Some of you will argue that’s a laughable comparison based on hypothetical situations. Of course it is! Badminton was never scheduled like this! The athletes should be asked to focus on wins not draws. It’s the IOC and Federation that screwed up not the sport or the athletes.

  • Seth Gecko

    ZenKimchi said:
    Well, it’s not called goodminton.

    Sounds like a Ned Flanders joke :)

  • jkitchstk

    # 21,
    “Had the Koreans been smart they would have played and then complained to the judges after they easily won the first set.”

    That’s right, but it would’ve required forward thinking, it’s much easier to rely on their old train of thought “Monkey See, Monkey Do” right now.

  • pineforest

    Not goodminton…LOL. What a silly setup. Sucks that people got DQ’d for just trying to survive. On the other hand, they probably knew they were risking it for trying to throw?

  • Creo69

    This article is too good to let go and deserves a post of its own…it is true after all, there IS a conspiracy against South Korea!

    Just a taste of the article…

    Professor Lee Jeong-hak of Kyung Hee University in Seoul said:

    “The West has made most sports rules. They might strongly believe that as the host they are entitled to do so. As they feel depressed because of the current euro economic crisis, there could have been jealousy against Korea.”

  • TheStumbler

    What do the rules specify precisely, “do your best” to win (a) each volley, (b) the game, (c) a set, (d) the round, or (e) the gold medals? If the goal is to win medals, then they can’t be faulted.

  • jkitchstk

    Mr. Professor Lee Jeong-hak of Kyung Hee University in Seoul, if what you say is true(which it isn’t) and the west gave you a chance to change the rules the only thing you’d do is make them backwards or upside down i.e. baseball balls/strikes.

  • Lliane

    @29 Europe is definitely jealous towards high korean suicide rate and banking leverage.

  • Dom

    Professor Lee Jeong-hak of Kyung Hee University in Seoul said:

    “The West has made most sports rules. They might strongly believe that as the host they are entitled to do so. As they feel depressed because of the current euro economic crisis, there could have been jealousy against Korea.”

    Wow, thats fresh. Wonder if the professor has any comments when the refs ignored the rules for Italy and Spain during the World Cup. Does he believe they were entitled to do so because they were the hosts?

  • Arghaeri

    IMHO… I don’t think you should punish players for the loopholes in the rules you have failed to address.

    What loophole, if there was a loophole they wouldn’t have been punished. They got punished according to the rule they broke.

  • Creo69

    Arghaeri is 100% correct. By not honoring the spirit of the Olympics and playing to their fullest ability they violated one of the rules and were punished accordingly. Whether their actions were sound from strategic perspective is totally irrelevant.

    Flashing their tits may have been shocking and stategically sound but if it violates the rules it violates the rules.

  • slim

    @31 Prof Lee has gone ahead and created his own form of logic, unrecognizable to established practitioners.

  • CactusMcHarris


    But it’s true to the Minjok, of which he’s a member and has to live amongst, and bringing up the ‘jealousy against Korea’ ghost, he should be made president of the university.

  • Lastnamekim

    I highly doubt that conspiracy against Korea assumption by the professor. But I DO believe that western media is all over this story because they love to hate on the Chinese whenever the opportunity arises. China is kicking the west’s butt in the medal count and there is this bandwagon to hate on China, it seems. Asia in general is doing much better than expected (Korea (N&S), Japan, Kazakhstan, etc), so the more Asian countries involved, the better, as long as it’s in a negative light. I’m really following this Ye Shiwen story. Would love to see how it ends up.

  • bumfromkorea


    Apparently, Ye had been kicking ass and taking name so far in her career with no positives on doping tests, so I’m more inclined to believe her than her detractors (or the Chinese officials, for that matter).

  • WangKon936


    Which minjok are you referring to? I am not using a “minjok” argument. I’m using one popularized by Economics professors at the University of Chicago who wrote a book called “Freakonomics.”

    I am not the only one complaining about this, nor does my ethnicity or the ethnicity of other commenters have anything to do with it.

    We all want people to take the moral high ground, but in reality this seldomly happens. I am just making a brutally honest observation on human nature. The rules must be changed to account for human nature and/or steer it in the right direction, if not then people will try to find ways to go around the rules (or the “spirit” of the rules). Otherwise, you have colossal failures like Prohibition and the American financial sector since 1999.

  • WangKon936

    Additional (non-Korean or non-Asian) commentary (since that seems to satisfy some of the commenters here at THM and make them think that the viewpoint is more valuable) on how this was a failure of incentives:

  • slim

    There is no “West” vs “Asia” in the Olympics. How many Chinese are cheering for ROK athletes, or vice-versa? Ask our Canadian nationalist here if he is cheering for any Yanks.

    This guy can’t write very well, but he covers the issues at play with Ye Shiwen quite well. (The comments, though, make me support the development of a steroid that can make PRC netizens think logically.)

    Wangkon is on the right track with the incentives argument in badminton. I fault the Federation more than the teams and the teams more than the players.

  • TheStumbler

    Couldn’t this have been avoided by simply forfeiting the desired game(s)? Or is that not allowed either?

  • Arghaeri

    I think forfeiting might just be considered as not trying your best to win :-)

  • CactusMcHarris

    #40 WK,

    That’s fair to ask- I deserve my hand slapped for generalizing, but he doesn’t make clear that he’s speaking ex cathedra, so I’m assuming he is inculcating young minds to be wary of the West for no particular reason. He could be correct, but it’s, to me, a position a university professor is unwise to take – a anti-foreigner rabble-rouser, yes, but him…

  • Q

    NYT had an editorial of similar opinion with TMH commenters:

    It is worth noting, too, that the notion of “always give it your all” or whatever other hoary chestnut you can imagine a hyperactive Little League coach spewing in a pregame huddle is largely Western. As the British have been so quick to remind us over the past two weeks, fair play and sportsmanship were invented here. But what does that truly mean? Play to win in a meaningless match, only to be rewarded with a more difficult path later on?

    To some, that defies sporting sensibility; to others, it defies logic.

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