» 08/02/2012, 00.00
GREAT BRITAIN - ASIA
London 2012: No apologies as disqualified Chinese Badminton player announces withdrawal
Beijing has asked its players to "publicly apologies" for disqualification from the Olympic tournament. The Asian Federation has expelled eight players for unsportsmanlike conduct. Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli speak of "shattered dreams" and erroneous rules. China's internet users defend their darlings and find an ally in the British Guardian newspaper.
London (AsiaNews) - China calls for a public apology for their behavior on the court, but one of the champions disqualified by the Badminton World Federation (BWD) refuses to follow the directions and announces her intention to abandon the sport. The episode of the eight Asian players - two Chinese and four South Korean and two Indonesian - investigated and then evicted from the Olympics because they have "done their best to win a game" (see AsiaNews 01 / 08/2012 London 2012, eight Asian Badminton players under investigation for "lack of commitment") is still generating controversy. The leadership of the federation has rejected the appeal lodged by the Seoul team against their expulsion from the competition and soon after Indonesia also withdrew its appeal and accepted the disqualification of their athletes.
Under the judges' investigation, the match between the Chinese Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and South Korean Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na and a second match between the duo Ha Jung-Eun and Kim Min- Jung (South Korea) and the Indonesian couple Meiliana Juahari and Greysia Polii. The players tried to lose the qualifying rounds in order to meet lower-level opponents during the final rounds of the tournament.
The official Chinese agency Xinhua has raised the demand for a public apology from the players, requested by Chinese sporting officials at London 2012 where Beijing continues to reap success. However, Yu Yang, one of the four athletes involved, has used her Weibo profile - a sort of Chinese Twitter, ed - to express her frustration and intention to abandon the competition.
"This is my last tournament," Yu wrote. "Farewell to the World Badminton Federation, farewell, my beloved badminton." Accused of deliberately wanting to lose the match, the Chinese athlete adds that her dreams were "heartlessly shattered" because the players - concludes the now former athlete - were simply "taking advantage of new rules" to ensure a better position later in the tournament.
Meanwhile, jokes and controversy on the disqualification of eight players rage among international newspapers and on the Chinese web. With complete peace of mind, and referencing the de Coubertine philosophy at the basis of the Olympic Games - "what is important is taking part" - bloggers claim the girls were committed to reaching the goal of victory and must be defended without hesitation. " It's the rule that are not right," wrote a surfer from Henan province in response to a "tweet" by Wang Xiaoli complaining that what has been cancelled "is not just a game, but my dream". Another post from Anhui shows the patriotic spirit of a nation and their unconditional support for their athletes: " As a fellow Chinese I will always support you."
The affair has also attracted the attention of the British newspaper The Guardian, which in an article on the Asian Badminton "affair" speaks of an "unfair" ban because the athletes "did their best" to achieve the final result: victory in the tournament rather than a single round. Every day, adds the writer, we read "hyperbole" dedicated to the importance of success for "national pride", so much so that the BBC has stopped broadcasting the medals table because it would be "humiliating" for Great Britain. "This is the pastiche chauvinism - states the journalist- of a banana republic." He concludes: the Olympic motto "ended long ago" because "modern Olympics are parodies of Hitler's nationalist games of 1936".
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