Olympic Badminton Disqualifications Unwaranted

Yesterday eight Olympians were disqualified from the Games and thrown out of the Badminton Pairs contest. For not trying to win. Why would anyone not try to win? You may well ask yourself. However the adoption of a flawed system, for as yet unclear reasons, meant that the teams in question were trying to win, by not trying to win!

For the London Olympics Badminton dropped its traditional knockout system for a groups and qualification system. Why I don't know. It increases the number of games required to decide the medal positions and leaves itself open to situations where teams are actively rewarded for not performing well.

In this case an unexpected result in one group meant that teams in another group were better off not finishing top of their qualifying group and were therefore incentivised to lose one game to improve their overall chances of getting a medal.

It produced a poor spectacle for the crowd (who were understandably upset) and the draconian penalty applied ended the Olympic dreams of eight competitors, two of whom were probably destined to win gold.

To whitewash the situation by destroying the players reputations is wrong and the Olympic body needs to review the reasons for these changes and why such a situation was not foreseen.


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