UK & World News
Badminton Star Quits After Olympics Disgrace
One of the disgraced Chinese badminton players kicked out of the Olympics after attempting to throw a match has announced her retirement from the sport.
Yu Yang, part of the reigning women's doubles world champion pair, announced she was quitting after Chinese officials ordered her and her partner Wang Xiaoli to apologise over their actions at Wembley Arena on Tuesday.
"This is my last time competing. Goodbye Badminton World Federation, goodbye my beloved badminton," she wrote on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.
"Four years of tough training with injuries, you just disqualified us. You heartlessly broke our dreams. It is simple, nothing complicated, but it's so unforgivable."
Yu and Wang, the top seeds in the tournament, were disqualified along with two South Korean pairs - Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na, and Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung - and Indonesians Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari.
The eight players served into the net, hit shots long or wide and wasted time as they contrived to lose in order to secure themselves more favourable draws in the next round of the competition.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) found them guilty of "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".
The Xinhua news agency reported that the Chinese players and their leaders had been "severely criticised and educated".
Despite her claim that the disqualification was "unforgiveable", Yu has appeared on Chinese state television to issue an apology.
Standing beside her teammate, Yu said: "The Badminton World Federation has disqualified us. First of all, I want to apologise to our fans."
"We didn't play with Olympic spirit, neither did we show our skills for the audience to enjoy. So it has reflected very badly on us."
Li Yongbo, chief coach of the team, said: "The key point is we did not behave professionally as athletes and did not treat each match seriously.
"We didn't strive with all our might in the Olympic way... as chief coach I really feel I must say sorry to fans and viewers nationwide."
The fiasco began when Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang started to show little interest in beating Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na to finish top of Group A.
This would mean avoiding compatriots and second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei at least until the final.
The Koreans responded by copying China, prompting boos from the crowd, and referee Thorsten Berg emerged to warn all the players. The match restarted and the Koreans went on to win 21-14 21-11.
But that was not the end of the matter as a second Korean pair, the third seeds Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, then attempted to throw their match against Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.
Their motive was apparently an attempt to avoid Wang and Yu in the quarter-finals, an outcome they failed to achieve as they eventually won 18-21 21-14 21-12. The Indonesians in turn had also tried to lose the game.
Berg intervened and disqualified the players in the second game, prompting a roar of approval from the angry crowd, but quickly reversed his decision.
BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said: "The regulations clearly state you have to win every match and you cannot throw some matches to win other matches.
"There's no two ways about that and that is what the disciplinary committee found in the principles of the Olympic spirit."