Chinese Women’s Badminton Pair Disqualified, Netizen Reactions

Badminton Women's Doubles China team Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli.

Badminton Women's Doubles China team Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli.

The following Sina Weibo microblog post has over 22k comments and was forwarded and reposted [“retweeted”] over 55k times within hours of its posting…

On Sina Weibo:

@新浪体育: The 8 badminton athletes (2 Chinese, 2 Indonesians, and 4 Koreans) suspected of passive play [throwing the game] at the London Olympics have been disqualified. On the 31st during the women’s doubles group qualifying matches, the passive play of four pairs of contestants including #1 world ranked Chinese pair Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli faced criticism and questions from the spectators and the media. The 8 players were accused of “not using one’s best efforts to win a match”.

Press Release about four Badminton pairs being disqualified from the London Olympics.

Video from Sina:

Highlights Clip – Women’s Badminton Doubles Passive Competition, Spectators Booing

During the last match of July 31st’s London Olympics Badminton Women’s Doubles Group A round, world ranked #1 Chinese pair Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli lost in an 14:21 and 11:21 upset to Korean pairs Jung Kyung Eun/Kim Ha Na. Because of repeated mistakes and service faults from both sides, if the shuttlecock didn’t go out of bounds it went into the net, leading to the booing throughout the Wembley Stadium during the match.

(Video may not load, but is viewable on the Sina website.)

Tournament referee Torsten Berg speaking to players from China and South Korea during their women's doubles badminton match during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Wembley Arena.

Poll on Sina:

A Sina poll of Chinese netizen reactions to the disqualification of the Yu Yang  / Wang Xiaoli Chinese team from the Badminton Women's Doubles competition.


POLL: What do you think of the badminton athletes being disqualified under suspicion of passive play?

Total of 484,504 people/voters [at time of translation]

1. Support, the Olympic spirit should not be tarnished.
2. Object, there was no violation of badminton regulations.
3. Sympathize, the athletes were themselves forced.
4. Understand, otherwise how could they explain it to the spectators.
5. It’s complicated, can’t say.

China's Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang play against South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na during their women's doubles group play stage Group A badminton match during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Wembley Arena July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Comments on Sina Weibo:


So now the spectators can influence/control the competition? The UK sure is democratic, can we no longer use judges/referees?? What is all this talk [in China] about gold medals being treated as all that matters or whatever… it looks to me that its more like money is being treated as all that matters [by the UK Olympic Committee], afraid that no one will watch the London Olympics, that the matches are not exciting enough, and that then they’ll lose money…


The Chinese delegation is too pathetic/weak, not even daring to appeal this? Look at how even the bangzi have appealed five times.


China this time truly played too passively. There’s a loss of Olympic spirit.


[挖鼻屎]It’s the London competition system/format that is unreasonable.


What’s wrong with exploiting the rules? How does this go against the morality of competitive sports? Moreover, this kind of situation often happens in the group rounds of football, when substitute players are sent out when its a foregone conclusion, there’s no fundamental difference. The rules are a mess, and they still don’t allow competitors to exploit the rules. [弱][弱][弱]


No choice + innocent, the fault is not with them two [Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli], the fault is with Li Yongbo and those people. Without their instruction, would those two have dared to act on their own initiative to lose the game?


If the objective of the Olympics and sports is only about competing by any means possible to win medals, then humanity has been walking upright for several thousands of years for naught… There is one thing that is far more valuable than gold medals and championships, and that’s called being fair and square [legitimate]!


With such an obvious loophole in the competitive system, the spectators can criticize the competition system of the Badminton World Federation, can criticize China’s Badminton Federation, or the national badminton team, but you can’t criticize Yu Yang/Wang Xiaoli. They have put in so much effort, do you think they don’t want to play/compete? How could the world ranked #1 not want to do their best to the cheers of the world? They were only obeying those above them and their so-called “national interests is the most important” plans. They couldn’t oppose it at all, they were the biggest victims.


These committee members only know how to talk and probably can’t even play very well, causing trouble. The athletes have trained bitterly for years and with one word, they are disqualified, just who do you think you are~? Have them dismissed!!!


Appeal. If the Koreans can, we can too. Their prospects shouldn’t be forfeited just like this.


There’s nothing worth being speechless about. It’s just like swimming athletes conserving their energy in their preliminary heats, do we say they’re also violating the Olympic spirit!? Although the play shouldn’t have been been like this, there’s no need to disqualify. If there’s fault, it is with the regulations and those who wrote them. If there is to be punishment, punish them first.


It’s because only by losing can they be matched up against another team and be able to meet the other Chinese pairs in the finals, in order to get both the gold and silver medals. However, this kind of match is indeed very lousy to watch. The throwing of the game was too obvious.


With our country’s strength in badminton, there’s no need to rely on fixing [throwing the game for advantage] to secure the gold medal. Our image/reputation is damaged, the gains don’t make up for the losses, it shouldn’t have happened!


I strongly criticize the host country of this Olympics. Bronze medals that break when dropped, the Olympic flame extinguishing twice, problems with referees, flags being hung above and below each other for ties [instead of side by side], the South Korean flag displayed for the North Korean football team, Wembley Stadium keys lost, the Lithuanian national anthem being cut off in the middle during the Women’s Breaststroke awards ceremony, and the most detestable was accusing China’s Ye Shiwen of cheating in swimming!


Badminton World Federation, you TM have the balls to disqualify all of the competing athletes? This London Olympics is truly disgusting!!


Chinese people have attached too much importance to the gold medal, only pursuing the goal without attaching importance to the process. This kind of mentality goes against the Olympic spirit!


After watching the video, I really do feel the athletes playing like this have done a disservice to the spectators who bought tickets to go watch them. All those people sitting in the stands are not there to watch you guys get the ball [from the ground], everyone is there to watch a true competition…


Haha, this is getting what you deserve, so don’t even bother with an appeal!! [给力][偷笑] Our countrymen’s petty cleverness/tricks has been applied to the Olympics, so embarrassing, so embarrassing!!!!!!!


Why doesn’t the Chinese team go appeal? Whatever happens, we should still explain the reasons and fight it. Wouldn’t simply accepting [the disqualification] be paramount to dumping the chamber pot on the athlete’s heads? This is outrageous. When the athletes win a gold, so many people hold them up, but when something goes wrong, then they become scapegoats.


Looking at the comments here, the lower limits of our countrymen’s morality is too low. Something that other people feel is rather shameful brought here suddenly becomes nothing at all. Talk about wanting medals but not wanting face [dignity, honor].


The main this is the Korean and Indonesian teams who went too far… stupid cunts… and they exposed us… fuck


Us appealing that the competition system is unreasonable is of course no problem; But look at this match. If you were to go appeal and say our athletes did not play passively, did not throw the game, would you even be able to open your mouth?


An Olympic match unbelievably played like this, I support the Badminton World Federation’s decision, the Chinese team or Chinese Badminton Federation should be given a warning. The athletes are just pawns and to lose a once-in-four-years opportunity like this is really a pity.

A CCTV news report about this incident, with footage of the match between the Korean and Indonesian teams also disqualified:

Tournament referee Torsten Berg speaks to players from South Korea and Indonesia during their women's doubles group play stage Group C badminton match during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Wembley Arena.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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