'Fixing' in badminton: India lodge protest

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London, Aug 1: India has lodged a formal protest with the Games organisers to probe if the women's doubles badminton match involving Japan and Chinese Taipei was played in the right spirit, following the elimination of medal hopes Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.

"We have formally lodged a complaint asking the organising committee to look at the Japan and Chinese Taipei match to see whether that match was played in the spirit of the sport, which I don't think was the case, and we are awaiting the outcome of that," Pullela Gopichand said.

Last night, Jwala and Ashwini missed out on a quarterfinal berth by a difference of just one point, even though they beat Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore 21-16 21-15 in their last group B match, after tying with Japan and Taipei on the number of wins.

Prior to India's final group game last night, the World number five Japanese pair of Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa had shockingly lost to Chinese Taipei's Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin, ranked 10th, 19-21 11-21.

"The match we are talking about is women's doubles. It is obvious that both teams wanted to lose. Hopefully some action will be taken. System needs a change because, if players had a choice, it would be fair to say that the Chinese teams would not want to meet in the quarters. Neither would Indonesia or Korea want to play China in quarters," Gopichand said.

"So the players are trying to make use of the system in trying to win medals. There is some fairness in what they are thinking. But eventually we need to ensure that the system is foolproof and the players are not allowed to do that (deliberately lose)," he added.

Gopichand also said: "There was a suggestion that all matches are played simultaneously so that players don't get a chance to rig the results with their calculations and everyone plays to win. "If you look at their (China) record, they have done this many times, they have been doing it for many years now and players and officials know about it," he added.

PTI

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