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September 25, 2014

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Home » Sports » Badminton

AC row heats up at the Games

CHINA’S badminton head coach Li Yongbo has claimed that the South Koreans manipulated the air-conditioning system at the Gyeyang Gymnasium during their men’s team final loss to the hosts late on Tuesday.

China lost 2-3 to South Korea, missing out on the title for the third straight time. But Li blamed the cooling system at the venue for the loss and hinted at unfair play.

“We did not lose because of technique or tactics, but due to some man-made reasons. The South Koreans deliberately controlled the wind blow in the stadium and took advantage of it.

“When we played with tailwind, the wind was very strong, but when the wind was behind them, they shut down the air conditioning. Before the Games opened, they had been training in this stadium for 15 days, so they are more familiar with the stadium than us,” he told reporters after the match.

Li was surprised that world No. 2 and world champion Chen Long could only manage 5 points in the first set against seventh-ranked Son Wan-ho of South Korea. He said the wind direction greatly affected Chen’s performance.

“The air conditioning was too strong in the first set. It was hard for him to play from the baseline which is his strong point. In the second set, the wind was gone, but it was back in the third set again,” he alleged. “This is Asian Games, but if it was the world championships or Thomas-Uber cups, the BWF (Badminton World Federation) wouldn’t have allowed this to happen.”

Chen Long also said that the air conditioning was a factor. “I was actually trying to play safe because of the strong wind over the court, obviously he (Son) was more adaptive to it.”

Japanese coach Keita Masuda was equally miffed after his side’s 2-3 loss to South Korea in the quarterfinals.

“The wind in this stadium is very strange, always supporting the hosts. Every time we change sides, the wind seems to change sides as well.”


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