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  #111  
Old 03-10-2017
1234 1234 is offline
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BIRMINGHAM: China's Olympic champion Chen Long was dumped out of the All-England Open on Thursday (Mar 9), losing in the second round to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, the world number 12 from Thailand, 21-16, 21-19.

Seven months and an absence of competition made Chen vulnerable and so did Tanongsak's sensible strategy of not too frequently attacking an opponent who creates brick-wall mid-court defence and turns it into damaging counter-attack.

Chen fought hard to close a five-point deficit to 19-19 in the second game, and might well have improved had the match gone to a decider.

Instead on the next point he hurtled a smashed wide, and then lifted the shuttle a little too short to defend against Tanongsak's attack on match point.

"Every player wants to win this title and I did too," said 28-year-old Chen. "My ambition is to get back my form."

The upset could help Lee Chong Wei, the top-seeded three times former champion from Malaysia, who survived for the second day with an ailing knee and who might now meet Tanongsak in the semis.

Lee again proved himself once again a master of adaptability and economy while enduring the discomfort of his knee injury and overcoming Wang Tzu Wei, a young and ambitious world number 21 from Taiwan, en route to the quarter-finals.

Lee defended economically, controlled most of the rallies at a pace at which he felt comfortable, and mixed up the patterns cleverly as he squeezed through 21-18, 21-18.

"I just tried to forget my injury," the world number one said, when asked what he had been trying to do.

One hour after Chen's defeat, the other Olympic singles champion almost followed him to the exit.

Carolina Marin was within two points of defeat at 17-19 in the second game against He Bingjiao, a 19-year-old left-hander who looks like China's next great women's singles hope, before surviving 15-21, 21-19, 21-10.

Marin next plays Ratchanok Intanon, the former world champion from Thailand, while the top seeded Tai Tzu Ying saved three game points in a 27-25, 21-11 win over Minatsu Mitani of Japan and faces Pusarla Sindhu, the Olympic silver medallist.

The other Indian, Saina Nehwal also reached the last eight, despite an ongoing recovery from a knee operation.

So did Lin Dan, the three-time Olympic champion and men's titleholder, who moved well enough during a 21-16, 21-11 win over compatriot Huang Yuxiang, and kept alive sentimental hopes of a Lee-Lin farewell in Sunday's showdown.

Men’s second round:

Lee Chong Wei (MAS) bt Wang Tzu Wei (TPE) 21-18, 21-18
Tian Houwei (CHN) bt H.S. Prannoy (IND) 21-13, 21-5
Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (THA) bt Chen Long (CHN) 21-16, 21-19
Lin Dan (CHN) bt Huang Yuxiang (CHN) 21-16, 21-11

Women’s second round:

Pusarla Sindhu (IND) bt Dinar Ayustine (INA) 21-12, 21-4
Akane Yamaguchi (JPN) bt Chiang Mei Hui (TPE) 21-19, 20-22, 21-15
Ratchanok Intanon (THA) bt Hsu Ya Ching (TPE) 21-14, 21-15
Tai Tzu Ying (TPE) bt Minatsu Mitani (JPN) 27-25, 21-11
Sun Yu (CHN) bt Chen Yufei (CHN) 21-15, 21-14
Carolina Marin (ESP) bt He Bingjiao (CHN) 15-21, 21-19, 21-10
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  #112  
Old 03-23-2017
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It was earlier this year that the website Badzine published its statistics showing the frequency of walkovers in all-Chinese badminton matches. Chinese players had been scheduled to meet 99 times in 2011: on 20 occasions the game was either not played, or not completed.

When China played China, 19.8 per cent of games did not reach a conclusion. And when China played anyone else? The figure dropped to 0.21 per cent. No doubt the Chinese athletes said there was nothing untoward in those figures, too. At these Olympics, this is a line we have been hearing a lot.

It was at this point, however, when the evidence was so overwhelming, that the Badminton World Federation should have felt compelled to act. China were expected to win every gold medal at the London Olympic Games and all reasonable evidence suggested that the athletes and coaches at the pinnacle of the sport were behaving in a nefarious manner. Instead, a blind eye was turned. Today, the reputation of badminton is in tatters.

Named and shamed (clockwise from top left): China's Wang Xiaoli (L) and Yang Yu, South Korea's Jung Kyung Eun (Top) and Kim Ha Na, Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and South Korea's Ha Jung-eun (L) and Kim Min-jung
Named and shamed (clockwise from top left): China's Wang Xiaoli (L) and Yang Yu, South Korea's Jung Kyung Eun (Top) and Kim Ha Na, Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari and South Korea's Ha Jung-eun (L) and Kim Min-jung

The sport has rightly expelled eight athletes from the Olympic women’s event, but it is too late. Charges will be brought but not all of the culprits are in the dock. Chinese badminton has conspired, literally, in this degradation of sporting contest, tainting rival associations with their behaviour but throughout they have been abetted by those with a duty of care. It is pathetic that the BWF are posturing as men of action now, when for years they have indulged the most obvious cheating.

Every bit as blatant, in fact, as what occurred at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night when Chinese second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei upset the odds by losing a group game to Danish pair Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen.

This placed them in the same half of the knockout draw as Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, meaning a gold and silver double would be impossible unless Wang and Yang lost, which they then attempted to do. Sensing this their opponents, Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na of South Korea, tried to lose too, but failed. Then the next pairs, from South Korea and Indonesia, played to get beat. A very genteel crowd turned ugly and with good reason. Far from justifying the cost of the tickets and the trip, this occasion was worthless, bankrupt.

The shuttlers had become throwers and in doing so had cheated everybody. The sport, the Olympic ideal, their fellow athletes, but most scurrilously, the fans. The athletes’ Olympic oath, read at the opening ceremony, is a little woolly on fixing, although it would be hard to argue that what occurred at Wembley Arena was in ‘the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams’. The regulations of the BWF are more specific, however. Rule 4.5 deliberately outlaws ‘not using one’s best efforts to win’ in a list of offences worthy of fierce sanction. A pity nobody thought to apply the rulebook before the Olympics were besmirched, and three pairs led astray by China’s manipulation.

Indeed, spare a little thought for six of the banned, at least. Jung and Kim, plus Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min Jung of South Korea, and Indonesian pair Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari. What they did was wrong, but they were only responding to the action of the Chinese. If they had done their best, the Chinese would have got away with schedule arrangement, as they have done for years.

Chris Adcock of Great Britain spoke out against match-fixing earlier this year. ‘The statistics speak for themselves,’ he said. ‘With the depth China has, they can sway and manipulate matches to their advantage. Some matches you watch are clearly thrown. Unfortunately it is now part of the game but in Olympic year it’s not what the sport is about and it is up to the rest of the world to stop it.’

And what happened? Nothing.

A year ago, the BWF began to monitor same-country draws, yet no penalties were issued and no irregularities discovered.This latest development, beneath the gaze of the world at the most high-profile sporting competition in the world, is a public humiliation: but no more than the sport deserves. Anything that is not stopped is encouraged and the officials at the top of badminton have been letting the cheats win for too long.
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  #113  
Old 03-27-2017
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After the Olympic Games in Rio, the Chinese badminton team has criticized management by State General Administration of sport Liu Peng. Two months and rumours about feathers frequently.

First rumored feather staff reshuffling, head coach Li yongbo after class, men’s doubles team coach Zhang took over, followed by Zhang himself rumor; these two days and reportedly, Yu issued new rules, teams within the couples may not be mixed doubles partner, former mixed doubles Liu and Bao Yixin of couples split.

How did all this happen?

Mixed doubles, couples must be removed? Feather why victims of repeated rumors

Mixed doubles combination of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.

Malaysia media two rumors

“Totally wide of the mark. “When asked by the Media Alliance mixed doubles on the issue, group of badminton mixed doubles coach Chen Qiqiu and Inner Mongolia, after the return to God, his rage against the rumors completely baseless.

In fact, as with Zhang last month to replace head coach Li yongbo became the feather, two rumors coming from Malaysia newspaper Sin chew daily.

The end of September, the Sin chew daily reported, saw Zhang as Li yongbo badminton in China Forum messages and invoke a analysis of this message. According to Zhang in particular Olympic champion Hong Kong and Macao, and Li yongbo did not with the players to attend think it is the biggest sign.

As the media grew up when I prove, when Korea led all Zhang laugh. He explained that the original Olympic champion Hong Kong and Macau is not his, as head coach in men’s singles Xia Xuanze something, so he asked his replacement.

“It was indeed, totally do not know what it is. “Zhang was a little angry, feather leader also responded that this is a highly speculative news.

Silent Zhang responded shortly after the Sin chew daily once again the “speculation”. Sources also is a Chinese national badminton forums.

The Sin chew daily writes: Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei love light in 2010, the two work together to complete the mixed doubles Grand Slam Albert, has been China’s sports was the envy of “gods carved xialv”. However, early this year, the two are outgoing women’s doubles partner by Zhao Yunlei Tian Qing “put a foot” message. Later, Zhao Yunlei with “insufficient physical and” give up on the women’s doubles, and Tian Qing missed the Rio Olympics.

This Malaysia media says, “China badminton team lost in the Rio Olympics mixed doubles and women’s doubles 2 golds, Zhang Zhu Zhao Zhutian emotional entanglements between three people spread all over the country, a chaotic jumble of feather became the focus of media and netizens blasted in. Announced on individual social networking platforms until Zhao Yunlei and Zhang Nan broke up before the farce storm temporarily. ”

Mixed doubles, couples must be removed? Feather why victims of repeated rumors

Liu Bao Yixin mixed doubles combination.

Liu/Bao Yixin down because portfolio restructuring

In support of state primaries to refuse couples on the mixed doubles, the star daily said Liu/Bao Yixin of the couple had split. Liu will play doubles partner Zhang nan, Bao Yixin’s mixed doubles partner, replaced Li Junhui.

It is for this said, Chen Qiqiu and felt the team was demonized. He said Liu Bao Yixin and removed simply because the team after the games replacement lineup reorganization, trying new pairings, initiatives to increase the squad.

In fact, with about will fade after the Olympic Games men’s doubles Fu Haifeng in the starting lineup, will also continue to fight Zhang Nan also needs a new partner of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. In the coaching staff’s view, with men’s doubles Liu is a good partner of choice.

And Bao Yixin is also in the last few races trying and Li Junhui set on, see if you can develop stronger fighting force.

In fact, after each Olympic cycle, are a lineup restructuring and modernization of the national badminton team node.

London cycle, for example, the original major mixed doubles Zhang Nan was men’s doubles coach deployed paired with Fu Haifeng. Zhang Nan and partner Fu Haifeng also experienced twists and turns, and once removed the “combination” (CAI Yun/Fu Haifeng) also was back.

Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei also removed after the Olympic Games in London, with other teammates tried to regroup.

Mixed doubles, couples must be removed? Feather why victims of repeated rumors

The Chinese badminton team head coach Li yongbo.

Administration of personnel of the centres adjust the countdown

Rumors about feathers often rapid fermentation, with the team’s poor results as well as the Olympic Games exposed management problems. Meanwhile, entering the Olympic year at the end, the sport Administration Centre also entered the rotation to the timing.

Now 65, Director of the State General Administration of sport Liu Peng will retire, coupled with regular Olympic cycle leading position adjustment of the centres, changes in the sport system to become even more interesting. Who moved his training Ning Zetao defeats in the

In London after the end of the Olympic cycle, for example, foot control Center Director Wei di, the outgoing, Director of the policy and regulations Division of Mr CHEUNG took over; retired Ping Yu Liu fengyan, Director of the Centre, the original basket Center Party Secretary Liu Xiaonong served as Director of the Chinese table tennis badminton Center; pipes Secretary for the Director of administration of the transferring training … …

So sports system in a series of personnel changes will be completed at the end of this year to next year. Basket now retired Center Director Xin Lancheng, plus tube Center “top leaders” vacant, which means three balls, two project managers will face adjustment.

And some poor results also will face personnel adjustments and changes.

That is why, in the administration of Rio Olympic Games where they were leading the national badminton team has become a focus of criticism.
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  #114  
Old 03-29-2017
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Star Player’s Extramarital Affair yet Another Sign of the Failing Team
By Dr. Zhengxu Wang,

Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

During the last two weeks, China’s social media has been dominated by the sex scandal of a star badminton player. Known as “probably the best badminton player ever”, the two-time Olympic men’s single champion, Lin Dan, was found in an extramarital affair with an actress.

On top of his numerous titles in leagues, tournaments, championships, and the Olympics, Lin Dan has never failed to produce headline stories through the years. He excelled as a player at a very young age, topping the world ranking table when he was barely 19. Entering the Athens Olympics (2004) as world No 1 and the most favoured, he stunned all by a defeat in the first round. The first Olympic gold had to wait for another four years, and he delivered a shattering victory over his long-time rival, the Malaysian superstar Lee Chung Wei at the Beijing event in 2008, the height of his career indeed. In between he managed to throw his racket trying to hit the opponent’s coach at a Korean tournament, having been beaten by the Korean player – the coach being a former Chinese national team player with an estranged relation with Lin’s own coach, the head coach of China’s national team Li Yongbo. After the Athens debacle he went into a period of purposelessness. He was reported to have engaged in a group fight against the national table tennis players, in which allegedly he was seriously beaten, almost resulting in fatal injuries.

From that low time he did re-emerge, and built himself up in various aspects as he moved to win the 2008 Olympics. Media savvy, he became an icon of the sport, and loved by big brands, sportswear, luxury goods, cooking oil, and everything else. What’s more, he appeared to be in a well cherished relationship with a sweet heart from his youth, the once women’s single world champion and Olympic silver medallist Xie Xinfang. His autobiography carries very intimate recollection and thoughts of her and the relationship, and its title, Toward the End of the World, was apparently a dedication to their relationship. They wedded in 2012 after Lin had achieved his second Olympic gold, and was known to be trying to have a baby. Everything seemed perfect, as his dominance in the sport continued albeit in a much less formidable way. Mid-year at Rio, he still reached the semi-finals, and appeared committed to make the next Olympics, in 2020, Tokyo. In November, Xie Xinfang gave birth to their first child.

It was at this juncture that his extramarital affair was exposed, and grabbed the attention of fans and the entertainment industry, with the involved being an actress. Reports emerged that this is not the only extramarital relationship he is having or has had, and one of the others involved a student, a player of her university team. He came out quickly on Weibo to apologize to his “family”, and on her part Xie came out on Weibo too, to forgive what she referred to as “this man that knows of responsibility”.

Gossiping and moral controversies, of course, continue in the media and social media. But to this long-time watcher of the game, Lin’s scandal represents the latest revelation of the failure of the National Badminton Team. This recent wave of its rise, having started around the late 1990s, arrived at its height at around 2008. It then went on to achieve the unachievable, winning all the five disciplines at the London Olympics in 2012. Yet since them it started to go downhill, falling into complete pieces at the Rio Olympics this year. At this time the problems amassed internally to the Team started to expose themselves, among them complicated romantic relationships among some of its top players. Disillusioned, players retired en mass, with the team losing half a dozen players in a short period of time, all world champions.

How the team got to this place will be the subject of another blog piece, but its head coach Li Yongbo, who has succeeded in making himself the emperor (or maybe dictator) of the sport has yet to stand out to claim responsibility. It might be that now his is a wrecked team. The once domineering Li is no longer able to contain any scandal that broke out of it, therefore the media can capitalize on them. But with the team in terrible shape and its players losing their focus and purpose, for a star player that has passed his prime, affairs might just become the haven in which he found meaning and excitement. What a pity.
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  #115  
Old 03-29-2017
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'Worst Olympic flop': Chinese media bemoan Rio medal tally
Dismay grows over worst Olympics in two decades
China struggle in badminton, diving and gymnastics.
China sent its largest ever group of athletes to the Rio Games but from the opening day the country has suffered a string of letdowns.
China sent its largest ever group of athletes to the Rio Games but from the opening day the country has suffered a string of letdowns. Photograph: Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters
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Tom Phillips in Beijing
Wednesday 17 August 2016 05.04 BST Last modified on Sunday 4 September 2016 12.26 BST
China has suffered “the worst Olympic flop” at the 2016 Rio games, the country’s official news agency claimed on Wednesday, as frustration grew at Team China’s failure to replicate its past glories in Brazil.

China is facing its poorest Olympic showing in two decades after a succession of disappointments in sports such as badminton, diving and gymnastics.


Great fall of China: Beijing's Olympians fail to reach highs of previous Games
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The country currently trails both the United States and Great Britain in the medals table, with Team GB taking 19 gold medals to China’s 17. The US has 28.

China has finished the Olympics in second place in every event since 2004 and claimed its highest ever gold medal haul - 51 in total - at the 2008 Beijing Games, according to Reuters.

Mounting frustration over Team China’s fortunes in Rio was captured in a tweet posted on Xinhua’s official Twitter account on Wednesday morning.

“No gold for #CHN gymnasts, #TeamChina have suffered the worst Olympic flop at #Rio2016,” it said.

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No gold for #CHN gymnasts, #TeamChina have suffered the worst Olympic flop at #Rio2016
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The tweet was accompanied by a photograph of the Chinese gymnast You Hao splayed out on the ground after falling during the men’s parallel bars final on Tuesday night.

That post followed an equally dismal message on Xinhua’s Twitter feed 24 hours earlier alongside a photograph of the medals table showing China behind Great Britain.

“You’re kidding me?” read the tweet, which was later deleted. “The country which has never finished above China is about to.”

China sent its largest ever group of athletes to the Rio Games - a total of 416 - and had hoped to claim up to 36 gold medals, compared to 16 in 1996.

But from the opening day - when Chinese athletes failed to pick up a single gold medal - the country has suffered a string of letdowns.

The former Olympic champion Du Li was denied a gold medal for shooting by American teenager Ginny Thrasher, the swimming champion Sun Yang burst into tears after losing the 400m freestyle and, on Monday, China’s badminton doubles teams were dumped out of the competition.

The latest setback came on Tuesday night when three Chinese gymnasts failed to pick up medals in Rio meaning their team recorded its worst Olympic showing since China rejoined the Olympics in 1984.

Chinese gymnasts had picked up 11 gold medals at the 2008 Olympics and five at the London Games in 2012, the BBC reported. This year it will take home none.

Beijing sees sporting prowess as a key soft power weapon and sensitivities over China’s performance at Rio 2016 were on show on Wednesday morning when Chinese television censors briefly pulled the plug on a BBC World broadcast about the plight of China’s gymnasts.

As presenter Rico Hizon introduced a story about how Chinese gymnasts had won “zilch” and an image of a prostrated You Hao appeared, the screen went black, as routinely happens during stories considered politically inconvenient to the Communist party.

One Chinese gymnast blamed his poor showing on pressure.

“I didn’t get to sleep until 2 or 3am ... I just couldn’t fall asleep,” Deng Shudi, who finished fourth in the men’s parallel bars, was quoted as saying by Reuters. “I just don’t know what happened. My brain is empty.”
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  #116  
Old 03-29-2017
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Awakening China
Different Perspective, Different Opinion

Friday, August 14, 2015
Is Chinese women badminton players on the decline?

Over the past few months, if you are a follower of the badminton sports, you would have notice that the Chinese badminton women singles players who have dominated this arena for the past one decade are not so invincible. Their top seeded players are falling like bowling pins. Even the no 1 Chinese woman player, Li Xue Ri who can be relied on to score a win is not so dependable anymore.

There are only 2 reasons for this - either the standard play from the Chinese woman players have dropped or the rest of the near top woman players from other countries have upped their standard.
I would like to look at this from two aspects. If you studied the women badminton players you can notice the following:

1. Their style of play has remained the same with no variation in their attacks. These can be countered easily by badminton players from other countries. What is missing from these players are the will to fight and the consistency which is sadly missing. Why? Only the coach will be able to explain.
2. I have yet to find a player who can play intelligently as to vary the game strokes and to have that little extra attacking style like Lin Dan or Chong Wei who can mesmerize the opponent in tight situation with that bit of overhead quick attack and wrong footing the opponent in their moves. Maybe the Chinese coach will need to built this attribute and then, China can have a winning and consistent candidate in this event.
3. Some Chinese younger players are not moving up quick enough to fill those who are unable to perform in the International scene. This is not good and in the next few years, you may not see any woman chinese players in the Top 10.

Generally that includes the men badminton, I have also observed that there are some players who are clearly passengers and are not interested in beating the top 3 players. Players like Wang ZeMing and Tian Houwei are so inconsitent that they can lose to an unknown in in their off form days. More off form days than good days. Wang can meet up with Chong Wei and you would certainly know the result - thrashing in straight sets. Does he has the mental ability and hidden plan to beat the former World No.1. If I am a badminton player and I continue to lose in every encounter (15times-lose all 15), I would certainly feel ashamed. Quit if you cannot make the grade. Either your coach did not teach you the extra bit or you are merely a passenger - who does not have that intelligence to built that extra quality.

The second reason is that there is a slight improvement in the woman players from other countries. Spain which is not known for badminton is producing a world no.1. She is either good or that the current crop of players are no where near the likes of Li Ling Wei and Han AiPing. More likely the woman standard has dropped.

Wake up China, you are not producing enough quality players given the huge populace.
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Old 03-29-2017
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BADMINTON: THE END OF AN ERA AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THE SPORT
Tine Baun - 2013 All England Champion
Tine Baun - 2013 All England ChampionBen Hoskins/Getty Images
Eddie Smith
Contributor II
March 12, 2013
The 2013 All England Championships were completed over the weekend. It is the Wimbledon of the badminton world and it now holds a special place in the history of the game.

Denmark's Tine Baun chose this event to retire at this week instead of in her home event, the Denmark Super Series in October of 2012, because of the prestige of this event and her accomplishments in Birmingham. Her career ended with with a victory over one of the new generation of players, 18-year-old Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand, who is considered to be a breakout star of 2013.

Since the 2012 Olympics, there have been several big name retirements. Peter Gade is the obvious one, but the depth of the men's singles has dramatically changed since the retirements of Shon Wan Ho, Lee Hyun Il and the decline of Taufik Hidayat.

Three ago, the men's singles had a perfect storm brewing with the Top 4 ranked and most popular players coming from the game's most influential nations, as well as the nations with the most hardcore of fans.

Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Denmark are the perennial success stories at the highest level. To have Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat, Lin Dan and Peter Gade as contenders at every event, it brought its own sense of uncertainty and drama to every Super Series.

Japan and Korea, another two well-funded badminton nations, have also provided players to contend with the elite four. Korea's Lee Hyun Il and Shon Wan Ho were consistent Top 10 players whilst Sho Sasaki broke into the Top 10 in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.

Little did we realise at the time what the London Olympics meant for the sport. It was the pinnacle of the sport to date, but in the weeks and months afterwards, we realised that the sport was on the decline.



The main headline from the 2012 Olympics will be the match-fixing scandal between the Chinese pair of Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, who played the Korean pair of Ha Na Kim and Kyung Eun Jung. The losing pair received an "easier" match against a Danish pair instead of a higher seeded Chinese pair. This sort of blatant match-fixing is not uncommon within the Chinese squad, but never had it been so obvious or at one of the biggest events in the badminton world. Two more teams attempted a similar trick in a later match and they also fell foul of the law with all four pairs being disqualified from the Olympics.

It was a dark day for badminton and the sport has never really recovered. IOC considered dropping badminton from the 2020 Olympics, but instead it was wrestling that received the axe. Peter Gade's retirement at the end of 2012 marked the end of a true European threat within the men's singles. His opponent in his final exhibition, Lin Dan, has not played a Super Series event for over a year. Both players have dropped outside of the Top 20 in the world rankings with fan favourite Taufik Hidayat currently ranked 20th in the world (as per March 7 rankings).

The natural cycle of most sports is that the younger generation arrive to take over from the older generation, but this hasn't been the case in badminton. Players like Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Du Pengyu, Tien Minh Nguyen—who were previously Top 10 players but were consistently beaten by Lin Dan, Peter Gade and Taufik Hidayat—have returned to the Top 10 because of weaker draws and the lack of new talent coming through.



The gap in the ranking points between current world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei (92,199 ranking points) and the world No. 3 Du Pengyu (63,416 ranking points) is so vast that the same gap of 29,000 points would cover the rankings three to 35. World No. 2 Chen Long has became Lee Chong Wei's sole rival within the game and they met for the 13th time in the men's singles final at the All England this weekend. Chen Long won in two close games to begin what could be the future rivalry at the top of men's singles.

The decline within the sport is not purely within men's singles, every discipline has fallen foul since the 2012 Olympics. The Chinese stranglehold within the women's singles has gone, with no player in the last four for the first time in recent memory. Players like Saina Nehwal, Ratchanok Inthanon and Minatsu Mitani all boasted famous victories since London 2012, but lacked the consistency to end the Chinese supremacy within the women's singles.

Unlike the men's singles, there is a group of players all capable of winning at Super Series level. The 2013 events so far have given us three different winners, but no Chinese winner to date. The level of panic within the Chinese squad is evident. Li Han played in her first event outside of Asia and was one of the last Chinese players left in the draw after seeded players such as Wang Yihan and current Olympic champion Li Xuerui crashed out in the first round.



The future of the game for several countries in particular is bleak, Denmark lost in the European Mixed Team event for the first time in 16 years to Germany last month, with their top-ranked singles players choosing preparation for the All England over playing for their nation in the final against Germany. Tine Baun's retirement almost ends any hope of another Danish title in the women's singles for the foreseeable future, with the next-highest ranked player being Karina Jorgensen—ranked 62nd in the world.

China claimed all five gold medals at the London Olympics, but since then, their place atop world badminton has come under threat. They are the undoubted kings in the doubles disciplines but Chen Long's victory was China's first title in either singles event in 2013.

After a number of questionable withdrawals in the opening event of 2013 in Korea, the Chinese squad have begun to make their own rules regarding their involvement at Super Series level. It is a requirement that the Top 10 ranked players must play in the Super Series unless they are injured or face a heavy fine, but the Chinese have counteracted that by simply flying the squad to the tournament, pay for the hotel and pull out in the opening round for a fraction of the price of a fine.

The governing body has to make a decision before a second occurrence like this happens at a future Super Series event and further tarnishes the sport. The only press that badminton is receiving at the moment is negative press, made only worse by players entering their prime being forced to retire or resign from programs that were put in place to maximise chances at the highest level.



Robert Blair, Imogen Bankier and now Jenny Wallwork all submitted resignations from the GB squad, with Wallwork's resignation also resulting in her retirement from the game at just 26 years old. Whilst Bankier and Blair have returned to Scotland, Wallwork was given "no voice or direction" in the way her career was going. The similarities between Bankier and Wallwork's resignation should send alarm bells throughout the current system, yet Badminton England expressed "disappointment" at Wallwork's decision.

The best players in the world in recent months have retired and the new generation of players has failed to materialize to date. Players such as Viktor Axelsen of Denmark was the natural successor to Peter Gade, but during the week of the All England Championships, the only buzz around the player was his switch to Adidas before losing in the first round.

Time will tell if the sport can recover from the highs and lows of the Olympics ahead of the 2013 World Championships in Guangzhou, China.
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Old 03-29-2017
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Change is unfolding at Shanghai's No.1 Children's Sports School Pudong New Area, a small cog in a state-run machine that has churned out Chinese Olympic champions for three and a half decades.

China's sports system has been enormously successful since the country returned to the Olympic fold in 1980, culminating with the host nation topping the medals' table at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with only a slight dip into second place behind the United States in London four years later.

And yet, with the Rio de Janeiro Games less than three months away, the system is beginning to break down due to the shifting demographics of a more prosperous nation.

China's Yao Jinnan performs on the balance beam during the women's gymnastics qualification at the London Olympic Games on July 29, 2012.

It poses a big challenge to the school's party committee secretary, Huang Qin, whose institution is one of 2,183 around the country producing 95 percent of the country's Olympians.

Fewer parents are willing to let their children endure grueling training routines from as young as six years of age, leading to a fall in student numbers. Some schools have closed and others are adjusting the way they work. The number of sport schools is down from 3,687 in 1990, government numbers show.

"In the 1980s and 1990s, schools like ours were extremely attractive," Huang said, recalling a time when families were poorer and generous sports subsidies were more highly prized.

The school's alumni include former Olympians such as hurdler Chen Yanhao and female footballer Xie Huilin.

"(But) parents are less willing now to send their child to sports schools if they perform fairly well in exams...The source of students for sports schools has shrunk as society placed more importance on cultural education."

EDUCATION STANDARDS

Debates about the continued relevance of the sports school system began to emerge around the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Huang and other schools said, as emerging tales of difficulties facing retired athletes jarred against rising expectations of education standards among China's booming middle-class.

The country's declining birth rate as a result of China's one-child policy has not helped either, along with its cut-throat education system, which sees Chinese students spend twice as much time on homework a day compared to the global average.

Beijing responded to these concerns in 2010 by issuing a new policy, known as document 23, ordering sport schools to improve teaching standards and to give more support to retired athletes.

At the No.1 Children's Sports School Pudong New Area, Huang said it had improved its teacher training. Three years ago, it also relaxed a 40-year tradition of requiring its entire student cohort to study, train and live full-time on campus.

Now, more than half of the school's 700 athletes study at other schools. Of its remaining 300 or so full-time students, about 10 percent live off-campus.

Other schools like the Shanghai Yangpu Youth Amateur Athletic School, are going into kindergartens to advertise gymnastics as an after-school play time activity to parents. "We call it happy gymnastics," said principal Zhu Zengxiang.

At Beijing's Shichahai, adorned with posters extolling the feats of ex-students turned Olympic champions, vice-head Zhang Jing said the school offered "comprehensive development" and equipped athletes with the skills needed for life after sport.

The Shanghai Sports School, whose alumni include former Olympic swimming champion Liu Zige, began in 2012 to reject athletes that did not pass its academic entrance exams, and tells parents it wants to use sports training to educate rather than as an end-goal, according to principal Sheng Maowu.

"A lot of sport schools are moving in this direction...but this is a painful process," he said.

"At present the existing thought is that education and training are two different routes -- if you want to be a world champion you cannot study. This belief is wrong...and at the end of the day very few become champions."

TALENT POOL

The government does not publish student enrolment at its sports schools, but there are signs that the changing landscape has already begun to impact China's pool of sporting talent.

In April, the China Sports Daily reported that the number of Chinese athletes training to be table tennis players had fallen by almost a quarter since 1987 to 23,266.

"In this changing situation, we must re-examine the traditional training system and model for competitive sports," Liu Shaonong, head of the table tennis and badminton center of China's General Administration of Sport, was quoted as saying.

Reform, however, is proving slow to take root.

In March, a government survey found that some schools inspected across nine cities and provinces did not spend enough money on education, and some local education departments paid little attention to making improvements in line with document 23, according to state media.

But athletes like Wang Linwen, a 25-year-old former professional athlete who represented Shanxi province in wushu, a martial art, said reforms, no matter how little, were crucial for those still willing to enter sports schools.

For five years until she retired in 2009, her weekdays were spent training with only the weekends for studying, she said.

"I lost a lot because I didn't experience the education system," she said. "(Reform) is good, that way sports school students won't come out knowing nothing."
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Old 04-08-2017
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RIO DE JANEIRO: China’s hopes of repeating their 2012 Olympic sweep of all five badminton gold medals were shattered Monday when both their pairs were knocked out in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles.
London mixed silver medallists Xu Chen and Ma Jin were beaten by Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, 21-12, 21-19.
Then, in a major shock, top seeds and defending champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei were dumped out by Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia, 21-16, 21-15.
“This is for my family, my wife, my children, my parents, everyone watching back home and the people of Indonesia,” said Ahmad.
As China slumped, Great Britain were flying as they qualified players into the semi-finals of the men’s doubles and the last eight of the men’s singles for the first time.
Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge moved to within one win of what would be only Britain’s third Olympic medal in badminton with a 21-19, 21-17 win over Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa.
“On that last set I was so tired, I just thought, ‘please keep hitting it to Marcus’. My legs had gone and I was just standing there,” said Langridge.
Rajiv Ouseph then downed Indonesian seventh seed Tommy Sugiarto 21-13, 14-21, 21-16.
In the women’s singles, Thai fourth seed Ratchanok Intanon lost to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 21-19, 21-16.
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Old 04-08-2017
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What is happening to China? Even England MD won over China MD to win the Olympics 2016 bronze medal.

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge capped a brilliant tournament for Britain by stunning China's Chai Biao and Hong Wei to clinch the men's doubles bronze at the Olympics on Thursday.

The rank outsiders were thrilled to have just made the knockout rounds but showed they belonged at the business end of the tournament with a composed 21-18 19-21 21-10 victory at the Riocentro.

Charging away in the decisive game, the world number 22 pair ruled the back of the court, repeatedly smashing through the Chinese defences to grab Team GB's first badminton medal since Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson took mixed doubles silver at the 2004 Athens Games.

"It's been a surreal week," said an elated Ellis, who slumped to the court and rolled around after winning match point.

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge capped a brilliant tournament for Britain by stunning China's Chai Biao and Hong Wei to clinch the men's doubles bronze at the Olympics on Thursday.

The rank outsiders were thrilled to have just made the knockout rounds but showed they belonged at the business end of the tournament with a composed 21-18 19-21 21-10 victory at the Riocentro.

Charging away in the decisive game, the world number 22 pair ruled the back of the court, repeatedly smashing through the Chinese defences to grab Team GB's first badminton medal since Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson took mixed doubles silver at the 2004 Athens Games.

"It's been a surreal week," said an elated Ellis, who slumped to the court and rolled around after winning match point.
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