It was a day that seen the top seeds progress without much resistance, apart from the shock exit of Olympic champion Li Xuerui.
Sindhu Shocks Li Xuerui
There will be at least one finalist from the home nation in the men’s singles, with Chen Long and Du Pengyu securing their place in the last 4 against one another. Ajay Jayaram and Hu Yun meet each other in the second semi final and their first meeting in over 3 years.
An all-Chinese is still possible in the women’s singles also, but it is not the expected pair that might meet in Sunday’s final. P.V. Sindhu stunned the 2nd seed and Olympic champion Li Xuerui in three games to book her place in the last 4 against another Chinese player – the 4th seeded Jiang Yanjiao. Top seeded Wang Yihan takes on Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the second semi final, with their only meeting to date resulting in a two game victory for the world number 1.
Chinese Pairs Loom Large In Doubles
There is a massive Chinese presence in the semi final stages of all three doubles events, with a guaranteed finalist in the men’s doubles as Hong and Shen, seeded 2nd take on the unseeded pair of Chai and Zhang for a place in Sunday’s final. Endo and Hayakawa take on the Thai pairing of Jongjit and Issara in the second semi final for the second time, with the Japanese pairing winning their previous encounter.
Only three matches were needed to reach the semi final stages of the women’s doubles, with top seeded Bao and Zhong needing three games to progress into a semi final match against Goh and Lim of Malaysia. The second semi final sees the 3rd seeded Naito and Matsuo of Japan take on the 5th seeded Cheng and Luo of China, who received a walkover in their quarter final match to reach this stage without playing a match this week.
The top 3 seeds in the mixed doubles have all successfully reached the semi final stage, with the top seeded Ma and Xu taking on Chan and Goh of Malaysia for the third time – with their most recent match at the Olympics being a one-sided win for the Chinese pairing. The second semi final sees Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam taking on the unseeded pair of Qiu and Tang of China, ranked 164th in the world. It will be their first meeting as the Chinese pairing is a relatively new one, with this event being their 3rd event together.
The first Super Series since the London Olympics is without most of the medalists from 6 weeks ago but nevertheless has provided a lot of entertainment with several of the seeded players already crashing out.
Li Xuerui Into Last 8
The Chinese have the majority of the singles players left in the draw, with top seeded Chen Long surviving an opening round scare against Viktor Axelsen before his routine 21-13, 21-3 victory over Misha Zilberman to book his place in the last 8. Du Pengyu, Wang Zhengming and qualifier Qiao Bin are also into the last 8, with Qiao Bin defeating Hans Kristian Vittinghus to reach the quarter finals. India are also well represented, with 3 men left in the draw also. Gurusaidutt, Varma and Jayaram are also all safely into the last 8.
Olympic champion Li Xuerui headlines an excellent women’s singles event, with a potential rematch with Wang Yihan waiting in the final. The top two seeds needed just two games each to book their place in the last 4. There has been disappointment also, with Wang Shixian and Liu Xin both losing in two games to unseeded opponents but there is a third Chinese woman in the last 8 with Jiang Yanjiao reaching the quarter finals with a two game victory over Eriko Hirose.
Poor Turnout In Doubles
The scheduling of this Super Series was meant to give players ample recovery time after the Olympics, but in the doubles there is simply a lack of pairs in the events. Just 13 pairs entered the women’s doubles, which has been reduced to 8 before any play this week and the 2nd seeded Huan and Tang have already pulled out to allow the 5th seeded Cheng and Luo a semi final spot.
The men’s doubles offers some sort of depth, but there are still the opportunities to reach the latter stages without playing a match. Anugritayawon and Prapakamol are one pair that have benefitted from this, as they have reached their quarter final match against Hong and Shen without playing a match today after the withdrawal of the 6th seeded Goh and Lim.
The top 3 seeds in the mixed doubles have all received byes into the quarter final stages, whilst another two Chinese pairs booked their places in the last 8 as well as two Chinese seeds. Liu/Yuo as well as Qiu/Tang have both defeated seeded pairs on route to the quarter final, with Liu and Yuo hoping to defeat the second Thai pairing of the week after their victory over the 5th seeds Anugritayawon and Voravickaikul, they now take on the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam.
9 Days, 5 Chinese Golds and 8 disqualified athletes as the wait for another Olympics begins once more. The Great British dream turned into a nightmare inside the opening two hours of play whilst a legend was born in the final two hours of play.
Lin Dan successfully defended his Olympic crown with a performance that to an extent, surpasses his victory in Beijing four years previously. There was no partisan crown in Wembley Arena and there was an equal on the court in Lee Chong Wei. It is to date, the greatest Olympic match ever.
Li Xuerui was a relative unknown inside this arena 12 months ago, as she watched on as the world championships took place. Now she leaves London as Olympic champion as the Chinese justified her inclusion ahead of Wang Shixian. What Li Xuerui brings is a trait that is rarely seen in Chinese players, an absolute desire to win that surpasses her talents and ability.
Cai and Fu achieved the final piece of their careers with an Olympic gold, the only title that the Chinese pair had never won. They lost in the final in Beijing four years ago and had to wait until now to redeem themselves, which they did in spectacular fashion as they won gold without the loss of a game.
Indian badminton will consider this a triumph for what they have achieved, with Kashyup Parupalli’s run to the quarterfinals and with Saina Nehwal’s bronze medal. With high hopes going into the 2013 World Championship in Guangzhou as well as the remainder of the 2012 season.
Alex Bruce and Michelle Li were the story of the women’s doubles in the aftermath of the group phase scandal. Their semi-final match was a testament to what the Olympics set out to achieve – despite their defeat to Fujii and Kakiiwa, they had inspired a generation.
Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier came into the Olympics with medal expectations, those expectations were tempered after an opening match defeat and before several of the world’s best singles players had set foot on court, their dream was over. Their success in 2011 was partly due to the lack of expectation and the surprise of their unlikely run to the World Championship final, there was nothing like that in 2012. A nation expected.
Lee Chong Wei came within two points of an Olympic title, only for Lin Dan to snatch glory from the Malaysian’s grasp for the second year running. It is perhaps not has heartbreaking as his defeat in 2011, where he did have a match point in the final but his reaction after his final shot was one of total dejection. Comforted by his coaches as he was forced to watch Lin Dan celebrate in his defeat. Only one final chance in Guangzhou waits for the Malaysian to claim a major title.
Lee Yong Dae and Chung Jae Sung were touted as the favourites for the men’s doubles titles going into the Olympics. Lee Yong Dae’s mixed doubles campaign lasted a mere three games but in the men’s doubles, the Korean pair breezed into the semi finals only to be outdone by the brilliance of an inspired Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen. They ended up with the bronze medal, with the Olympics being Chung Jae Sung’s final event as Lee Yong Dae will have a new partner after this week.
Indonesia will leave London without an Olympic medal, with the failures of Taufik Hidayat, Simon Santoso and the mixed doubles pairing of Ahmad and Natsir failing to secure a bronze medal against Fischer and Pedersen.
Peter Gade’s Olympic career came to an end at the quarterfinal stage, with Chen Long defeating the Dane in two games in a match that Gade claims he played some of his best badminton in recent memory. Just three events remain in the legendary career of Peter Gade – Japan, France and a final farewell in Denmark.
The Disgraced Eight
The criticism that has been widespread is not that they opted to lose the matches, but the manner in how they chose to do it. The distain and arrogance on show to blatantly throw the matches with serving into the net and not allowing a rally of more than four points has questioned the professionalism of every badminton player, not just the eight players expelled.
The feeling from within badminton is that given the opportunity to do it once again, all of the pairs would have no problem doing it again. The counterargument is that they are ultimately playing for an Olympic gold medal, which is four years of work and that after putting in so much effort to reach the Olympics – the possibility of making the job easier in one that should be taken.
The Chinese squad, wanted gold and silver from the women’s doubles which was indeed achievable. The Korean and Indonesian pairs merely wanted to avoid the Chinese pairs in the later stages. This all stemmed from a match earlier in the day between Pedersen and Rytter Juhl, who defeated Tian and Zhao in their group. Little did they know that the effect of that victory would eliminate four of their biggest rivals in the next 24 hours as well.
Yu Yang has allegedly retired, walking away from the game that she adores. Wang Xiaoli has promised to regain people’s trust in her and in the middle of it Li Yongbo takes sole responsibility for the actions of his players. It has been a problem throughout the Olympic qualification process, with phantom injuries leading to walkovers.
What the BWF have done with this landmark decision is opened the door for more walkovers instead of these farcical matches but also forced sporting integrity to be upheld. There will undoubtedly be a change to the format of the competition in Rio come 2016, but there will be little change in the nations that dominate the sport as China claimed all five gold medals in London.
With six medals still on offer, the final day of Olympic badminton promised to be special. China were assured of two medals with the possibility of three as Lin Dan defended his Olympic title in another classic.
Lin Dan Claims Gold
The 2011 meeting in this arena between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei was widely considered to the greatest match ever played. The 2012 meeting for Olympic gold will definitely be a contender to that title. An animated Lee Chong Wei took the opening game as a lackluster Lin Dan made several critical areas as the Malaysian dominated at the net. The second game was a role reversal, with the drift inside the arena playing it’s part over the first two games.
The third game had everything you could ever wish for, long pulsating rallies and two of the best players of this or any generation retrieving shots that nobody thought possible. Lin Dan turned 11-9 up, but the ascendancy changed throughout the second game, with Lee Chong Wei taking an 18-16 lead as Malaysia hoped for gold. Lin Dan replied with the play that won him Olympic gold in Beijing four years previously. The score became 19-19 after the Malaysia left a lift that landed on the line, with Lin Dan going on an all-out attack to claim the first gold medal point.
The rally drew comparisons with Lin Dan’s match point a year previously, pushing deep into Lee Chong Wei’s forehand rear before a tight net shot from Lin Dan forced a high lift from the Malaysian that Lin Dan watched out of the back of the court before sprinting off court in celebration with the Chinese coaches in his wake. Lee Chong Wei remained on court to be consoled by his coaches. Lin Dan claimed his second gold medal 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 in 79 minutes.
Chen Long claimed the bronze medal in a three game victory over Lee Hyun Il to ensure an 8th medal out of a possible 15.
Cai and Fu Win Gold
The men’s doubles final was between Cai and Fu of China against Boe and Mogensen of Denmark, who defeated the world number 1 pairing of Lee and Chung, won had already won the bronze medal in the morning session. The match was competitive, but there was only going to be one winner as the Danish pair had already played their final in the semi finals in beating Lee and Chung. The 21-15, 21-16 score was an accurate representation of the match as a whole, with the Chinese pairing just too strong for the Danes.
The win ensured a clean sweep of the medals for China, with four new gold medalists in Li Xuerui, Cai and Fu, Tian and Zhao Yunlei, who claimed two golds, one in the women’s doubles and another in the mixed with Zhang Nan.
The day begun with Cai and Fu reaching the men’s doubles Olympic final and ended with a pair of gold medals for China with the injury of Wang Xin the only low point in a day riddled with success for the Chinese.
Gold For Li Xuerui
The form player in 2012 justified her selection for the Olympics ahead of Wang Shixian and won China’s second gold in two days. It was talent over willpower in the women’s singles match, with Wang Yihan’s talent failing to defeat Li Xuerui’s will to win in a three-game classic. Saina Nehwal claimed the bronze medal, but not in the way the Indian would have hoped as Wang Xin retired at the beginning of the second game after claiming the opening game. A knee-injury hindered Wang Xin’s movement before she crumbled on court after the opening point in the second game that forced her into retirement and gave Nehwal the bronze medal.
Tian and Zhao Claims Women’s Doubles Gold
There was a Chinese winner in the women’s doubles, but not the pair that many expected. With the group stage farce decimating the draw, it was the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao who claimed gold – with Zhao Yunlei winning her second gold of the Olympics after her mixed doubles success. An easy first game victory for the Chinese required a response from the Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa to ensure there wasn’t a Chinese rout. A tighter second game ensued, but the Chinese eventually took the second game 25-23 to ensure China’s third gold. Sorokina and Vislova took the bronze medal, after a one-sided victory over the Canadian pair of Bruce and Li.
Boe and Mogensen stun Lee and Chung
The “dream final” in the men’s doubles was put on hold for at least four years by the Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen who defeated Lee and Chung in a sensation men’s doubles semi final which will be a contender for match of the tournament. The Korean pair took an early lead, claiming the first game only for the Danes to respond and take the second game. After squandering a match point, Boe and Mogensen earned a second match point and a Mogensen lift was left by Lee Yong Dae, only for the shuttle to hit the lead and send the Danes into tomorrow’s final. Cai and Fu will be their opponents tomorrow, after the Chinese pair defeated Koo and Tan in a one-sided semi final that the Chinese pair took with their third match point to ensure their second successive Olympic final.
Day 8 Results:
The first medals were awarded as the mixed doubles reached it’s conclusion, with the current world champions claiming Olympic gold over their Chinese rivals and team mates.
Zhang and Zhao Claim Gold
The 2011 world champions became the 2012 Olympic champions, claim both titles inside Wembley Arena. Their opponents this time around were Xu and Ma, who were defeated in the semi finals 12 months previously. What many hoped would be a tightly fought contest were left disappointed, as Zhang and Zhao outclassed their Chinese team mates in a 21-11, 21-17 victory.
The bronze medal was won by Joachim Fischer Neilsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark, who defeated Ahmad and Natsir in another one-sided match to ensure at least one European medal, with the world number 4 pairing winning 21-12, 21-12.
All Chinese Finals In Women’s Singles
One space was guaranteed for the Chinese, as Wang Xin took on Li Xuerui in the second semi final. Wang Yihan ensured an all-Chinese final with an excellent two game victory over Saina Nehwal of India, with the world number 5 being the sole hope remaining to ensure there wouldn’t be a Chinese monopoly of the medals.
Li Xuerui continued her stunning form in 2012 with a two game victory over her higher ranked team mate Wang Xin in two tight games to book her place in the final against Wang Yihan. It will be their 8th meeting between the two, with Wang Yihan leading 4-3 but Li Xuerui has won the previous three occasions, with their last meeting being a two game victory in the Indonesian Super Series Premier.
Lee Against Lin
It will their 30th encounter between the top two players in the world in a repeat of the 2008 Olympic final as Lin Dan takes on Lee Chong Wei. Both players comfortably defeated their semi final opponents in two games, with Lee Chong Wei defeating Chen Long whilst Lin Dan defeated Lee Hyun Il.
It will be the first time in the sports history in the Olympics that the same two players will play for the gold medal in two consecutive Olympics in what could potentially be the final match of their historic rivalry.
The European dream of gold in London has faded with every passing day, but today was the end of any chances in the singles with the defeats of Tine Baun and Peter Gade.
Chen Long ended Peter Gade’s Olympic career with a classy two game victory over the Dane, who claimed after the match that he played some of his best badminton of the year in is defeat. Chen Long’s reward is a semi-final against the world number 1 Lee Chong Wei, who ended Kashyup Parupalli’s fairytale run at the Olympics in two games to ensure a medal for at least one of the two semi finalists.
Lin Dan secured his place in the semi final with a three game victory over Sho Sasaki, but any hopes of an all-Chinese semi final were derailed by Lee Hyun Il who ended Chen Jin’s campaign in a tight two game victory to book his place in the last 4.
The four best players in the world have all reached the semi final stage, with only the second seeded Wang Xin dropping a game in today’s matches. Wang Xin needed three games to end the run of the 17-year old Inthanon Ratchanok, who looks to be a star for the future for her native Thailand. Li Xuerui will take on Wang Xin in the semi finals after the 3rd seed defeated Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong to reach the last 4.
Wang Yihan has a repeat performance in Wembley Arena against Cheng Shao Chieh in her semi final, with the Chinese top seed securing a straight forward two game victory to reach the semi finals. Saina Nehwal takes on the top seeded Chinese player in the last 4 after ending Tine Baun’s run at the quarter final stage, with the Dane celebrating a line call that would have won her the second game prematurely which resulted in Saina Nehwal saving multiple game points before winning the match on her first match point.
The top three pairs in the world all secured their place in the last 4, where they are also joined by the Commonwealth champions Koo and Tan of Malaysia. The unseeded Koo and Tan take on Cai and Fu in the first of the semi finals, with both pairs successfully negotiating their way into the last 4 with tight two game victories. Lee and Chung take on Boe and Mogensen in the second semi final, with both pairs also coming through their matches in two games to set up their 17th meeting against one another.
The impossible and improbable dream of Alex Bruce and Michelle Li almost became a reality, as they took Fujii and Kakiiwa to three games and booked their place in the bronze medal playoff. The Japanese pair will take on the world number 2 pairing of Tian and Zhao in Saturday’s gold medal match after the Chinese pair disposed of Vislova and Sorokina in a one-sided match.
The first medals will be won in tomorrow’s afternoon session as the two best pairs in the world face off in an all-Chinese gold medal match. Both pairs needed three games to defeat their opponents, with Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen taking on Ahmad and Natsir in the bronze medal match in the morning session. Xu and Ma will take on Zhang and Zhao in a rematch of the world championship semi final held in this arena a year ago. It will be their 11th meeting, with the defending world champions Zhang and Zhao winning 8 of their 10 meetings to date.
There were 4 eliminations before play even begun today, with the disqualification of all four pairs in the women’s doubles accused of match fixing. That allowed the 3rd and 4th placed pairs from Group A and C into the quarter finals at their expense.
An inspired Lee Chong Wei answered all of his critics in his second round masterclass against Simon Santoso, with the top seeded Malaysian comfortably booking his place in the last 8 with a two game victory. Kashyup Parupalli awaits the top seed in the quarter finals, with the Indian defeating Sri Lanka’s Niluka Karunaratne in three games to offer India a second hope of a medal in the singles events.
The last 16 saw exits for Jan O Jorgensen, Marc Zwiebler, Kevin Cordon and most noticably Taufik Hidayat who was defeated by Lin Dan in his final Olympic appearance of the Indonesian’s career. Chen Long and Chen Jin ensured a trio of Chinese players in the last 8, with the 3rd seeded Chen Long taking on Peter Gade in the quarter finals in what could be Gade’s final appearance at the Olympics also.
The biggest casualty of the last 16 was Germany’s Juliane Schenk, with Inthanon Ratchanok ending the run of the 6th seed at the second round in a two game victory for the 9th seeded Thai. Yip Pui Yin defeated Pi Honygan to further reduce any chance of European success, the unseeded player from Hong Kong takes on the 3rd seeded Li Xuerui in the quarter finals.
Wang Yihan faught back from a game down to ensure her place in the last 8 at the expense of Bae Youn Joo and set up a world championship rematch from last year against Cheng Shao Chieh. Tine Baun became the final European player left in the draw after Sayaka Sato retired from their match whilst leading 15-14 but the Danes task in the quarter final will be much harder as Baun takes on Saina Nehwal in the last 8. The Indian 4th seed defeated Yao Jie of Holland to reach the quarter finals and set up a matchup against Baun.
Without winning a game in Group A, Michelle Li and Alex Bruce are into the semi finals of the women’s doubles after a two game victory over Australia’s Veeran and Choo to set up their match against Fujii and Kakiiwa of Japan. The 4th seeded Japanese pair ended the run of Denmark’s Rytter Juhl and Pedersen in two games to set up their semi final against the Canadians.
The other semi final features Vislova and Sorokina, who came third in Group A but defeated Viljoen and Edwards to reach the last 4 and take on the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao of China, who defeated Cheng and Chien of Chinese Taipei in two games.
The four seeded pairs remain in the mixed doubles, with Xu and Ma coming closest to elimination after surviving a match point in order to defeat Mateusiak and Zieba of Poland. Their reward for victory is a semi final match against Ahmad and Natsir, who defeated Fuchs and Michels in two games to book safe passage into the last 4.
Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen are the sole European hope, after their victory over Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam of Thailand but will take on the current world champions Zhang and Zhao who ended the campaign of the 2009 world champions and Danish team mates Laybourn and Rytter Juhl.
The great British dream ended at the group stages, but the show must go on. 32 players and 24 pairs remain to fight for five gold medals as the world’s elite face one another to edge ever closer to a medal.
Simon Santoso is the latest player to have his chance at Lee Chong Wei, with a pair of impressive victories whilst the top seed struggled past Ville Lang and the rest of the field now know what Lee Chong Wei’s limitations are. The other side of the draw offers the match of the day tomorrow, as the 2008 Olympic champion Lin Dan takes on the 2004 Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat in what could be the Indonesian’s final match of his historic career.
Another player in the twilight of his career is Peter Gade, who takes on Shon Wan Ho in his second round encounter with the winner of Wong Wing Ki and Chen Long waiting in the last 8. Two more Europeans will hope to keep a continents dream alive as Jan O Jorgensen and Marc Zwiebler take on higher seeded Asian opponents tomorrow, with the Dane taking on Lee Hyun Il whilst the German takes on the 4th seeded Chen Jin.
Only Wang Yihan and Wang Xin had the luxury of a group of two, the other 14 women had to progress from groups of 3 with only two seeds falling at the opening hurdle. One of those seeds was Petya Nedelcheva, who was knocked out by Indonesia’s Adrianti Firdasari – who takes on the 2nd seed, Wang Xin in the second round. The top seeded Wang Yihan takes on Bae Youn Joo of Korea in her last 16 match, with a potential world championship rematch with Cheng Shao Chieh waiting in the quarter finals.
Saina Nehwal and Tine Baun are just one victory away from facing one another at the last 8 stage. The Indian takes on Yao Jie in her second round match whilst Baun takes on Sayako Sato of Japan. Yip Pui Yin is the only other unseeded player left in the draw after defeating Sung Ji Hyun in the group stages, the Hong Kong player takes on Pi Hongyan for a place in the last 8.
With the group stages complete, the manipulation of the draw will cease and a winner will be crowned. The marquee match of the day sees the top seeded Wang and Yu take on the 3rd seeded Ha and Kim, with the top seeds losing their final group game to ensure they could not take on their Chinese team-mates until the final. Tian and Zhao take on Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei in the half of the draw where they are the only seeds in it, whilst the final seeds – Fujii and Kakiiwa take on the Danish pair of Rytter Juhl and Pedersen, who topped Group D.
The four seeds all won their group and will avoid playing one another at least for another round but there is a refreshing mix of pairs left in the draw but without the defending champion Lee Yong Dae. Four European pairs take on four Asian pairs for a battle of continental supremacy with the 2011 world champions Zhang and Zhao taking on the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl for a place in the last 4 and a potential all-Danish semi final. 4th seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen take on the Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam for a place in the last 4 as the only European seed hope to keep European hopes alive.
Xu and Ma take on current European champions, Mateusiak and Zieba of Germany whilst the 4th quarter final features the 3rd seeded Ahmad and Natsir taking on the German pairing of Fuchs and Michels, the higher ranked left in the draw at 22.
Updated with video:
Faster, Higher, Stronger. The motto of the Olympics were tarnished and shamed with the performance of Wang Xiaoli, Yu Yang, Kim Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun. With top spot on offer in Group A, the two pairs gave one of the most disgraceful performances in the history of the sport and both capitulated resulting in neither pair wanting to win.
It was about how fast the Chinese pair could get off could, how high they think of themselves against the rest of the field and how strong they believed in the actions they chose to do on court. From when the Chinese pair took to the court after their introductions until both pair were viciously booed off court took under 30 minutes.
The warm-up offered no clue as to what lay ahead, as Kim served to Wang to start the match.
Wang Xiaoli clumsily drives Kim’s opening serve into the net to begin proceedings. Yu Yang signals with her right hand to Wang Xiaoli as she shadows a drive motion.
Yu Yang plays a lazy net shot from waist height into the net, before looking to the ground to suggest she thought it might have been short.
Kim Ha Na serves into the net.
Yu Yang’s serve is taken at knee-high by Jung, resulting in a mediocre drop from Wang that hits the bottom of the net, resulting in the Chinese player looking at the lights and claiming that was the reason for the poor shot.
Jung Kyung Eun flick serves down the line to Yu Yang, whilst the Chinese player watches the shuttle drop in before looking at the line judge for confirmation. The replay shows it was more than 3 inches in.
Jung serves to Wang, who pushes a full swing lift to the back which Kim soft drops back to the service line only for Yu Yang to half-push the shuttle into the middle of the net. The first boos ring out from the crowd at this point, with that being the longest rally of the match at 4 strokes.
Jung serves to Yu, who plays a knee-high lift to around three quarters deep into the Korean court whilst moving backwards resulting in a lazy drop from Kim landing in the middle of the net.
Wang serves to Kim, who plays an attacking push to the mid-court for a winner. Yu Yang looks to her partner whilst the Korean pair celebrate a winning point for the first time in the match.
Kim Ha Na is called for a service fault and offers a half-hearted motion of her service motion to the service judge.
Yu Yang serves into the net.
Jung serves to Yu, who drives the shuttle at Kim resulting in a drop return that clips the top of the cord that barely affects the shuttle but results in a push from Yu Yang going into the net.
Jung Kyung Eun is called for a service fault. She makes no attempt to contest the call.
Wang serves to Jung, who plays a knee-high lift deep into Yu Yang’s backhand corner. Yu plays a mid-court backhand clear into the centre of the court that Kim smashes into the middle of the net. Groans are heard throughout the arena.
Wang serves to Kim, who plays an flat lift almost off the carpet which Yu Yang looks certain to hit before realising just how far out the shot actually is.
Wang Xiaoli serves into the middle of the net. Ending the 3-point run of the Chinese pair.
Kim serves to Yu, who in a similar fashion to an earlier serve, plays a weak net shot that barely reaches the net. More whistles and jeers are heard.
Kim flicks Wang, who takes one step before lunging to dig-out a shot into the bottom of the net.
The mid-game interval shows the Korean coach complaining to the umpire about the Chinese “tactics” whilst the Chinese coaches spend around 15 seconds speaking to both players before returning to their chairs.
Kim Ha Na serves into the net.
Yu serves to Kim, who plays an attacking shot into the backhand rear corner of Wang, resulting in a weak drop to the middle of the court that Kim lifts out of the side of the court and lands on the carpet.
Yu Yang serves into the net. She shakes her head before firing the shuttle in between Jung’s legs to boos and jeers of the crowd.
Jung Kyung Eun serves into the net, whilst Yu Yang claims not to be ready for the serve. Jung Kyung Eun serves the next service – a flick serve out.
Wang Xiaoli serves into the net. It is at this point that the umpire finally gets involved, motioning all the players towards him to show his discontent at the match to date.
13-9 to 14-11
All four players take turns at serving into the net. The crowd have turned on both pairs, with sarcastic groans as well as general annoyance at the passage of play.
Kim Ha Na flicks her service out.
Yu Yang serves into the net. Yu Yang, as she had done for most of the first game begins a conversation with Wang Xiaoli who seemed the most bothered by what is transpiring on court.
At this point, one of the officials comes onto court to issue a warning to both players:
“We are here to play, to compete. If you don’t play, both teams can be disqualified, both teams can be disqualified and go out of the competition. Understand?”
.Jung serves to Wang, who for the first time in the match attacks a serve and hits a cross net winner. Cheers ring out from the crowd.
Wang Xiaoli serves into the net and promptly looks at her racket.
Expectations of more than a four shot rally are heightened, before Yu Yang hits a backhand shot that flies under the net. The Korean coach stands up and looks unimpressed.
Kim Ha Na serves off the carpet. The biggest boos of the match so far are heard.
Yu Yang serves into the net. Yet more boos are heard.
Hopes for another lengthy rally are quashed by Yu Yang’s drive flying into the net as the Chinese player seems to be instigating most of the tactics. The Chinese coaches look relaxed on their chairs as they watch the world number 1 pair face six game points.
Another four shot rally ends the opening game, with Wang pushing a shot into the top half of the net to ensure their defeat in the first game.
The first game interval sees the Korean coach sarcastically applaud Wang and Yu as he goes to speak to his players. The Chinese coaches spend 15 seconds conversing with Wang and Yu whilst the official reappears and threatens to disqualify both teams.
Both pairs appear back on court before the line judges have finished sweeping the court, almost a minute before the interval is over.
The second game is a more “competitive” contest, with the service faults disappearing and the average rally length almost tripling from the opening game. The Chinese lose the second game, with Yu Yang instigating most of the points that the world number 1 pairing lost.
The overall tone was one of a complete lack of care or respect at what they were doing and has put a black cloud over the rest of the competition.
Yu Yang later confirmed that their actions on course were to ensure an easier passage into the late rounds and that the pair had already qualified so there was no need to expend extra energy. It also meant that the Chinese pairs couldn’t meet until the final.
A second match was surrounded in controversy between Ha and Kim who took on Jauhari and Polii, with the winning pair set to take on Wang and Yu. Both pairs were black carded and were disqualified before being recinded and the 3rd seeded Ha and Kim won the match.
Tonight’s farce will almost ensure the end of group stages at major competitions, with the manipulation of the draw on show this evening. Several high-profile players have spoken out against the two matches, with some claiming that disqualification is the only option as given a similar situation the players would do it again and again.
The real loser tonight is badminton – it will make the headlines for all the wrong reasons as the competitions enters its knockout phase as the world’s elite pairings have somewhat successfully rigged a draw to ensure the possibility for gold and silver in certain events.
There were just 64 shots played in the opening game, with a passage of 9 consecutive service errors where the match referee was on court twice.
There are no winners tonight. Badminton must attempt to recover some pride in the remaining five days of play.