Canadians back in the game after reigning champions disqualified

Badminton row press conference


Canadian coach Ram Nayyar he receives a phone call today informing him the team could be reinstated.

“I didn’t tell the girls, I just made sure to keep them some place where I knew where they were,” he told reporters. “At 1 p.m., I asked them to meet me as the possibility of play had increased. I said ‘how would you like to play tonight?’ And at 4 p.m., I was telling them to pack their bags.”

Alex Bruce and Michele Li received a second life in the Badminton doubles tournament when four pairs were officially disqualified. Two of the offending teams had been in their group so the Canadians were suddenly in the quarter-finals.

“We had been waiting in the hotel, trying to relax, but the call didn’t come till 3:30 for a match at 5 p.m.,” Bruce told reporters. “We were surprised, but ready to go.”

And ready they were.  They beat team Australia, Leanne Choo and Renuga Veeran in three sets (21-9, 18-21, 21-18) to advance to the semifinals against Japan on Thursday.

Controversy swirled around team China, South Korea and Indonesia when players made a series unusually poor plays on the final day of round-robin action Tuesday. Paying customers booed several players off the court after repeatedly putting serves into the net and hitting the shuttlecock over the court’s lines. The longest rally in one set lasted just four shots.  

The referee even issued a warning that they may be disqualified.  But the bad plays continued.

Lord Coe, head of London 2012, described the players’ actions as ‘depressing and unacceptable’.

The Badminton World Federation ruling was based on the obvious.  The teams were trying to lose to manipulate their position in the knockout phase.


China’s Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, the reigning world doubles champions, were found to have been purposely trying to lose their match against South Korea’s Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na to avoid playing another Chinese team before the championship final.

Officially, the players were found in breech of the international badminton federation’s code of conduct section that punishes players for “not using one’s best efforts to win a match.

“The Chinese started this,” South Korean coach Sung Han-kook said, according to the BBC. “They did it first.”

South Korea was denied in an appeal. Indonesia withdrew its own appeal. South Korea’s Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung were also expelled, as was the Indonesian pair of Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari.

“Something had to be done,” Charoen Wattanasin, president of the Badminton Federation of Thailand, told the news service. “I feel sorry for what happened but believe the disciplinary committee made the right decision.”


“The Chinese started this,” South Korean coach Sung Han-kook said, according to the BBC. “They did it first.”

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