Badminton -- team or individual sport

Discussion in 'Hong Kong / Chinese Taipei / China Open 2003' started by rejang, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. rejang

    rejang Regular Member

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    I do not know if this is the right forum for this thread, but let's start a discussion.

    I am quite appalled by the trickery of the China team in Open events, going all out using tactics that can only be described as either unsportsmanship, or worst, lack of sprting ethics.

    There has been time and again (speculated) that their players are asked to throw away games in favour of the other team mates atht have better records against potential opponents, conserve energies by playing only one serious sets (ample eg in World Champ) and/or conceding mysterious walkovers (China Open). Worst still, there are rumours of manipulation of the physical conditions (draught) of venues to suit their players.

    To me, this smack of cheating or even match-fixing. I could understand a national team going all out to win a team event but to use this sort of trickeries in Open events is just incredible. There is just no glory in the victory at all.

    Wonder the IBF is monitoring the situation and devsing rules to ensure such tactics are not employed. I guess they can have an independent Umpire Commission make up of a few umpires/players/officials from different countries that can review and have the power to rule on the validity of such action whene there is a complaint. If not reversing or repudiating results, this Commission should at least have the authority to publicly denounce such tactics - better still before the commencement of the next round of the same Open; to highlight to all fans/officials to deter the same occurring again.

    Once again, I do not mean to offend China supporters but use this as a general discussion of the same tactics if practised by other nations. But it just seems that China is the only one using such tactics at the moment.
     
  2. Amateur

    Amateur Regular Member

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    I totally agreed with rejang. It's just like some bookie fixing the football matches. Maybe if this carries on, just give the gold medals to the chinese, why bother to compete? Sorry, I dun mean to be harsh, but as a fan I wanted to watch a fair competition between 2 good players. I like both LinDan and WCH, dun really mind whom won but just hated the trickery.

    I thought the chinese players are taught to be up right too, remember seeing one article by Coach Tang saying that. But now this.....Isn't it contridicting? How will the players themselves feel? Did the coach give any thought for them? Or is the world out there just too cruel?


    Maybe IBF shd indicate some punishment, for instance, if A give a walkover due to injury, then maybe he shd be barred from competitions for the next 3mths. Anyway, takes time for an injury to be treated, right?

    Anyway, we want fairness, justice, no tricks! Dun contaminated the true spirit of badminton!:mad:
     
  3. Xu Zhen

    Xu Zhen Regular Member

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    Generally, I agree with you. But "tactics" belong to all powers not only to China.

    Just for instance, in T&UC, the order for singles and doubles includes "tactics", any powers did so- thinking about Indonesia, Denmark, Malaysia, etc. Another example, in SC, Korea, Indonesia and Denmark (just China didn't ) all were "beaten" in order to choose opponent in semis, in T&UC so did these powers (just China didn't ) .

    As to WC, it's not only an individual Championships but also a "team" competition, otherwise, why limit entries from one association (not decided only by world ranking like the other Opens)?

    As to Lin Dan walkover in China Open 2003, I wonder who told you the fact? If nobody told you, Who give you right to confirm this is a "tactics"? And even though China did so, it's reasonable because the period from 2003.4-2004.4 is qualification for Olympics. Do you remeber what two Peters did in China Open 2002? that time was just for WC!

    I just want to say I don't like any "tactics" in any sports, but it should be to all not just to China. In other words China have "right" to do so when the others are doing.
     
  4. nauknip

    nauknip Regular Member

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    of cos u have the right to do wat u want, but the fact that everybody is doing something wrong wouldn't make that something right.

    It is a general prob with badminton, just that some countries esp the stronger ones have more chances of manipulating their games and obviously more blatant about doing so. Walkovers in internal matches are very common and not specific to China indeed. But ha, perhaps we shud give credit to whosever's innovative idea it was to make full use of the home'ground' advantage.
     
  5. nauknip

    nauknip Regular Member

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    You all may want to take a look at this if u read Chinese.

    http://www.chinabadminton.com/news2003/nov/zggks1116ldddndgj.shtml

    Basically it's about how Zhu agreed to the decision of the coaches and withdrew citing an injury in his elbow to protect the good of the team. The journalist even wrote that WCH did not in fact lose to Lin Dan, but was defeated by Li Yongbo's team.

    There're some things that we all just know, just like how blatantly the Korean linejudges cheated at the AG last year. There's not much need for denial simply because no formal statement was given.
     
  6. khelben

    khelben Regular Member

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    It is taken to be a fact that during the world champs, China did indeed cheat and that was already exposed by the IBF with the appropriate punishment has already been meted out. However, to speculate time and time again that its coaches are cheating again and again is doing a fair bit of injustice to them as well.

    Perhaps they did cheat, in terms of forcing a player play below his capabilities. But manipulating physical conditions? That, to me sounds too much of a conspiracy theory than possible reality. And besides, do we even have evidence of "foul play" by the Chinese coaches? I would assume that if a player was injured that he/she would not want to play in a high-profile match and risk more serious damage that could possibly end his or her career. Again, this is just my conjecture and I would assume it would apply.

    It is also understandable that most people would think and believe that the Chinese are big cheats, master manipulators and unscrupulous in their methods to achieve victory and even if they were, do they still continue to conspicuously err time and time again? A leopard will never change his spots, some may say, but in a society where we often judge a person by his past merits and de-merits, it is understandable to treat every little inking or possibility of the act of cheating as the act itself, especially so if the person (or in this case, nation) has been “reputed” for such injustice. But we have to ask ourselves if we are being over-zealous in trying to seek justice for the "apparent" misconduct of the china coaches.

    For the record, I too believe in fair play, and I feel that this issue of manipulating conditions to achieve "national victory" is apparent more so in badminton because it is a sport where we do honour the nation primarily before we honour the player. Take tennis for example: there are few instances where we refer to a player’s victory as an American victory or a Spanish victory (save the Davis Cups etc) but rather, emphasis and credit is duly given to the players first before the country. Sure, it is only natural for Americans to support the likes of Andy Roddick or Andre Agassi but when the 2 players do eventually meet in some final, no one touts it as an all-american victory and deems it of lesser importance to a final between say Justine Henin-Hardenne and Serena Williams. Do we see that in Badminton? Perhaps, but it is certainly not apparent to me. Take the recent China Open finals for example. The hype was all focused on the men’s singles and doubles matches because they were inter-national battles unlike the women’s singles doubles and mixed doubles which were intra-national struggles. As I desperately scoured the net for results on the mixed doubles, I found to my dismay that no one was apparently interested. In fact, I do not recall seeing any post on the results of that match till today. And yet, if the finals were between Zhang/Gao and Kim/Ra, my search would not have been necessary. Certainly, badminton has its own characteristics (like the unity of its players as a team to fight of their country) that make the sport truly unique, and to change any of these would be tantamount to blasphemy. But perhaps we are taking it beyond what is necessary. After all, too much of anything is not a good thing.

    It is in our Asian culture to place family before self, community before family, and country before community. Individualistic pride weighs less than national glory in the grand scale of importance. Thus this issue of sacrificing one for the benefit for the country will not go under that easily. In fact, it is due this primarily Asian mindset that such instances of cheating surface. We cannot hope to change our culture overnight, nor do most Asians (including myself) want to change the immense pride we have for our country. And yet, we want a “fair” and competitive environment for players to pit their skills against each other. Perhaps we are asking for the Holy Grail. We want to see players play their best regardless of their nationality, etc. And yet most supporters place emphasis on national victory. I was at the Singapore Open this year, and I shifted from 1 seat to another as I watched and supported different teams. There is one thing I can say from my experience this year. Some Chinese support Chinese players without knowing who they are. To generalise, most people choose a nation to support and support that nation (usually their own) regardless of its players. I am sure it does not apply to all people, but for most, this is probably a fact. Even if all the members of Badminton Forum do not fall into the class of people I have described above, what about the other hundreds of thousands of people in China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia etc.

    To ask the IBF to closely monitor the situation within the Chinese Camp would force such means of trickery (if they existed in the first place) to go underground. One reason why the US legalised the KKK was because it wanted to keep tabs on them. Look what happened after the “Drug Olympics” of 1976. After the use and consumption of drugs were officially banned, did the coaches or players stop the use of drugs? The answer is no. Now instead of a simple urine test, drugs evade such methods of detection with incredible ease. Why did that happen one might ask and the answer is simply because winning was more important than anything else so drugs were “needed” but since they were banned, “better” drugs capable of evading such methods of detection were being researched with immense fervour. If China is guilty as charged for forcing players to retire or miraculously changing physical conditions, and the IBF officially and stringently clamps down on such activities, then the likelihood of the Chinese coaches resorting to other means that cannot be detected is high. This will happen simply because we have not changed the main constant in the complex equation of our mindset: our Nationalistic Pride.

    After such a long rambling of issues I think are pertinent, I would certainly love to hear the views of others. Badminton is a great sport and it is disheartening to see players lose or perform badly. It is also painful to see a country cheat for the sake of a gold medal. But let us face the fact that we live in a dystopic (uncommon word for the opposite of utopic coming from utopia) world. We cannot always have the cake and eat it.

    P.S. This was never meant to specifically target anyone in general nor is it a personal attack. If I have offended anyone in anyway, please accept my sincerest apologies.
     
  7. sunzhi

    sunzhi Regular Member

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    wat more can i add, khelben... you have spoken my piece.. well said...
     
  8. ksooi

    ksooi Regular Member

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    I think a lot of the people who attended the semifinal was quite shocked that Zhu Weilun gave a walkover. Everyone in the crowd was expecting him to give Lin Dan a run for his money.

    I think it is time IBF wakes up and have a look at how walkovers are handled. How come Gong Ruina played in the final when she was carrying an injury from her semifinal match with Wang Chen and was obviously in pain in the final. She was in tears when she finished her match with Wang Chen because of the pain. In fact she wanted to carry on playing when she was 5-1 down in the 2nd set with Zhou Mi. I was praying that she would retire because it was just too much for her. It was Li Yongbo who signaled to Zhou Mi to ask Gong Ruina to retire.

    I think IBF should start adopting a system where only with an indepedent doctors certification of the players injury should the player be allowed to withdraw. Look at tennis. No player is allowed to withdraw without proper medical reasons.

    You would bw surprised that there are so many Chinese supporters in the arena that actually wanted Wong Choong Hann to win. I spoke to a couple and they felt that WCH wasn't himself. They said that WCH gave the game to Lin Dan. A lot felt that Lin Dan didn't deserve it. How is that for being 'patriotic'.

    As for manipulating the conditions of the arena, it is widely known that there is a draught in the Tianhe stadium. In the semifinal between WCH and Peter Gade, the Danes complained of the draught in the 2nd set to the referee. Even before the final of the mens doubles, the danish coach spoke to the tournament referee. . Peter lost because he couldn't adapt to the draught in the 2nd set. I personally asked him about it. I really don't know if the aircon was turned on/off duting the matches though.
     
  9. SJ_Tan

    SJ_Tan Regular Member

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    Whoa..very well said khelben..and ksooi, i'm actually speechless after i read what u said.

    I mean..personally although i love my country and am really a truly hardcore fan of Wong Choong Hann. I would rather watch a game in which players use their skills against each other to play a fair game, so a fair outcome will result from there. I really dislike foul play and deceit when it comes to sports especially (and other things..). I mean..whats the point of paying ur money to see it live then? Plus its all the more exciting and fun to see the players play against each other WITHOUT politics and such in the background.
     
  10. willie

    willie Regular Member

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    Until the day the leopard gets old and the young are not ready to defend themselves.
     
  11. wl2172

    wl2172 Regular Member

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    Well said willie.
     
  12. ants

    ants Regular Member

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    Well i'm sure each country have their own tactics. Not only China , Msia , Indonesia.

    Anyway if you are good , then you are good. Sometimes you win sometimes u lose. Thats life.. look into the future and never make the same mistake again.
     
  13. wl2172

    wl2172 Regular Member

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    From the Malay Mail

    MM Highlight: SPORT HIGHLIGHT
    Badminton/China Open: Cruel Game!
    S.S. Dhaliwal

    Send to a friend | Printable Page

    CHINA have taken international badminton to a new low following their antics at the China Open held at the Tainhe Gymnasium in Guangzhou.

    Not only did they display poor sportsmanship off the court, but also resorted to questionable methods to ensure the much coveted men singles title is won by one of their own.

    And against such odds it was little wonder that Wong Choong Hann lost the final to Lin Dan with a 17-16, 15-12 scoreline.

    But the Chinese players and officials should try to pick up a thing or two from Choong Hann who refused to blame anyone for his defeat.

    “I lost to a better player today. Despite the defeat, I am happy with my performance in the final,” said Choong Hann.

    “I am disappointed but I did not lose for lack of effort but just that I could not match Lin Dan today.

    “This is the second time I have lost to him but I dare say it will be a different story the next time.

    “He had an advantage with the one day rest as he received a walkover in the semifinal.

    “Whether that was planned or not is for others to judge but it gave him a distinct advantage and he used it.

    “That is sport and we just have to accept defeat, though for me it was a bitter pill to swallow.

    “I am proud of my game here and hope to build on it and do well at the SEA Games.”

    Choong Hann, who won the Taiwan Open last week, however, has a chance for revenge as he lines up against the Chinese armada in a friendly between Malaysia and China today.

    Choong Hann must be credited for his display in the tournament as he showed why he is still the nation’s top singles player.

    But even the best sometimes fall victim to questionable decisions and it was no different for Choong Hann in the final.

    Choong Hann was incensed at being faulted twice in the second set when the score was 13-11 in favour of Lin Dan.

    “That affected my concentration and there was just no coming back after that,” said Choong Hann.

    “But that one incident did not cause my defeat and I will just learn to remain more focused next time.”

    The despicable methods employed by the Chinese were apparent even before the final got under way.

    While Choong Hann had to labour in the semi-finals against Denmark’s Peter Gade Christensen, Lin Dan was given a walkover by his compatriot Zhu Weilun.

    It seemed Zhu Weilun had mysteriously picked up a shoulder injury after his quarterfinal exploits.



    Choong Hann trailed Lin Dan 7-8 at one stage but manage to draw level at 10-10.

    He then took three points for a 13-10 lead but Lin Dan started smashing more and caught up to level at 13 all.

    Despite edging forward at set point, Lin Dan failed to get the winning point and this allowed Choong Hann to tie at 14 all.

    The two players were neck to neck and once again Choong Hann foiled Lin Dan’s attempt to gain the winning point by drawing level at 16-16.

    But Choong Hann failed to get the winner and that handed the advantage to Lin Dan who needed no second chance to win the first set 17-16.

    In the second set Choong Hann led 7-2 at one stage but failed to take advantage allowing Lin Dan to draw level and forge ahead 11-8.

    Choong Hann narrowed the deficit to 10-11 but Lin Dan won the next two points to surge ahead 13-10.

    It was then that Choong Hann was faulted and that allowed Lin Dan to do what Chen Hong had failed to do last year, to keep the singles title in China.
     
  14. fan

    fan Regular Member

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    Darn, this kind of discussion/argument just has to come up after every major badminton open tournament. If it is not A country, it will be B, C, and D countries. That is just so darn disgraceful to the sport of badminton. Guys, I can tell you that there is no grace, no glory, no winner, no sportsmanship, and no good badminton fan. No matter which country win, if is not always it will be most of time cheating or some sorts of manipulating the situation. Yeah, it is just down right dirty rat (I am calling name here, so delete this if it is not appropriate) badminton associations, players, coaches and fans. Need I say more, it is dirty badminton and we all love it.

    Whoever the person, player, couch or whatever tells you what they have done is done for the glory of your country, it is an insult to your intelligence and your integrity. Oh, no we Chinese, majority, will not accept such a ‘glory’. That is why we hate it when others do it.

    For all the baddy fan out here, We love this sport. We love our country. And, again, the message to IBF and all the countries, coaches, players and fans is loud and clear “we know what is right and what is wrong”.

    Don’t let the sign of ‘glory’ fool you. For a lot of people, they are busy KEEPING their job and forgot to do their job. Worse, we are the one helping them.

    Sigh, after yelling on top of my lung, I know it is no use. But hey I fell better to let it out of my chest.

    BTW, I don’t like the name of this thread, ‘China’s dirty trick’. No, China covers a lot and it includes me. If you think some one is doing the dirty trick, it is just the minorities. I don’t even care if you say it is XXX’s dirty trick, but it is definitely not CHINA, the entire nation (I know they represent China. But just because a couple of bad apples doesn’t condemn the whole tree).

    Sign again !!!!!!

    Here is a pic I just enjoy very much. The Tennis Master Cup Final a couple days ago, Sweden Vs US. Old Vs Young. Legend Vs New coming, and after all it is the PURE TENNIS Vs the world. Can you say that in Badminton?

    Redefining the meaning of glory. We have been laughing at tennis long enough. May it is time to learn something from them.

    The source of this pic is printed on the pic itself.
     

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  15. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    I was debating with myself before writing here, since I think what I am going to say might just start another "war" and might just make me a "target" of all the "fairness" here.

    However, I still think we should calm down and think a little bit more before we put on blames about others:

    1. As a fan, we think one way: get our ticket(s) worth. We want to watch all highly intensive matches and hope every good match could be lasted 10 hrs for 3 sets and each going into deuce. And I agree. If I watch a game, who want a boring one or even a "walk over".

    2. However, as a player/coach: get a win first (for individual or team). Playing hard is good, but need to be smart. Sometimes, in a over-view, if we can save some energy for "un-necessary effort" (just my own thinking, NO PROOF!!!), which better for a "long run", why not??? Overall, ur final goal is "WIN". There's NO 100% FAIRNESS in this world. If there's a way to "bend the rule" (of course, still legal), use it.

    3. To me, everytime CHN raise a trophy, there is blah blah blah talking about "walk over", "fake injury", "1 set match", etc. Are those true? Maybe, maybe not. However, the key point is, why CHN is ALWAYS the "goat"? Just because they win more champs??? Isn't that a "sore grape loser" feeling?
    3.1 Ex #1: When Gade came back earlier this yr, his teammates gave him easier matches and walk over (singarpore open???). Did anyone say anything? I personally did not hear anyone talking about DEN is "the only cheater".
    3.2 Ex #2: Say I buy a good-seating NBA tickets. However, team A blew out team B by 40 points entering second half. Both coaches benched their All-stars, since this game is "meaningless". Surely, I felt bad for not get my ticket worth all 48 min + heart beating "buzzer beater". However, is there a point u going to risk ur All-NBA 1st team candidates to fight to the last second when the score is already 65 : 120??? Should I say, "hey, we paid the tickets, how come u did not fight for the entire night???"
    3.3 Ex #3: In football (American football), if a team leads very few points, they generally using running games, or even time-outs (waste 30 sec) or QB kneeing (waste 30 sec) to secure a win. Should we as fans, shout at them why not put a "hellmary" pass to excite the crowd (while taking higher risk for the losing team to gain possession to come back)? Absolutely no. Any football coach won't ever attempt a stupid movement like that.

    4. Also, if CHN did attempt the "team work strategy", I still don't think it's wrong.
    4.1 Did any rule book ever say, "if a team is good, the 2 facing each other should never playing less than 2 hrs? should never score less than 13:15? should never get injuried? Or, if really injuried, have to let the entire public know and explain and make sure everyone believe???"
    4.2 Why CHN can do it, and others can. Simply, they are the best. Every of their player are good, and together they make the "mighty squard". Nothing wrong with it. If there's a "team work" involved, there's equal chance applied for every single nation as well. If a nation other than CHN attempt to do it, I am fine with it. However, they did not do it, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE FAIR OR HONEST, JUST BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH GOOD PLAYERS!!! To me, this is more or less a "sore grape".
    4.3 Before CHN ever produced a good badminton player. Nations like JP, MAS, and IND dominated this sport. Don't ever tell me the 1st ever CHN player raised his trophy, he never had the same "treatment" from other nations. He fought through the massive army and did this. This is a true champ. Once u enter a tourny, u should both mentally and physcially ready for all full tough matches. Just taking chance, and blaming opponent having easier match or "team work" (without proof) is not going to proof urself to be any better.

    So, my only point is: drop all the useless guesses and blames, and train harder. Blame others for "favorites", curse the "tough luck" draw is not going to produce another "super power". Let the racket do the talk. If u can fight through (with or without extra "bonus"), u r the legend. If u can't, but just talk talk and talk, well, "whinner"...
     
  16. wl2172

    wl2172 Regular Member

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    We should not allow any party to so blatantly exploit a loophole, be it China or anyone. Fact is, China has done it not once, not twice but countless times. Many badminton associations have raised their concerns, and the IBF has also taken action before. It is worst for the sport if one country can have such dominance until it can do whatever it wants.

    All we ask is that any injury claims should be inspected and approved by a third party to avoid such occurances in the future.

    Speaking of professionalism, which is very evident in tennis. Players from the same country slug it out no matter what to win that round, seldom have I heard of a match being fixed.

    To sum it up, if we allow China or any of the badminton super power to continue such tactics, they will only get stronger and the rest will only get weaker. The top 10 world rankings will always be populated by China, and where will that leave others? Any half decent chance for a promising star will only get snuffed out in the early stages. Is that good for the longevity of the sport?
     
  17. wl2172

    wl2172 Regular Member

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    Forgot to mention that a big tennis tournament usually lasts 2-3weeks. Players get a few days of rest in between matches, and they get to sit down every 20 shots or so.

    In badminton, some players have to play till midnight, and most instances having to play at least one match per day. A standard tournament last a week.

    Another thing is that even if Andre lost, he can still smile about it because he is going to pocket 10 times what a top badminton player earns in a year in that single tournament.
     
  18. Qidong

    Qidong Regular Member

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    I think another problem is that the price money for badminton is too little, and players have to depend on sponsors and the country to support. The players have to obey the coaches and not to complain. Tournments like WC and China open should be individual sports, not team sports. For examples, if winning a semi-final match means an additional of 100K US dollars, do you think there will be any more intentional walk-overs?
     
  19. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    Qidong, good point there, the big difference between badminton and tennis is financial support and prize purse.
    Badminton it seem is still driven and supported by political agenda in SE asia region where it is less so in north american and europe, that's why popularity still low in the latter regions.

    Just watched the tennis Master last nite, roger federer was impressive, one hands all his backhand shots with power and accuracy, and that was his weak side. It was hosted in Houston where private fund (22 million USD) was used to build the stadium. That kind of money sure helps speed up its popularity :rolleyes:
     
  20. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Qidong hit it in the nail there, and also touched on by khelben.

    the problem is that unlike tennis, badminton is a team sport in the disguise of an individual sport.

    tennis is an purely individual sport

    in tennis, there is no "national team", each player have their own coach, they don't neccessarily train together. they get paid individually, agassi will unlikely share his earning with sampras, for example.

    badminton is not an individual sport

    in badminton, the players are bounded to a national team. the team will handle the training, the training venue, the diet, the health, the sponsorship, all the costs involved, and also to pay the payroll of each player. each team has their goal and the goal may not be set by individuals but by the manager. the goal of the manager of each team may be in conflict with the goals of an individuals.

    we as an audience perceive the game as an individual contest, that's is the nature of the game, but as we pull in the structure of a team into the question, now the separation of players have become murky.

    cycling

    let's pull in another sport for the comparison, cycling. in the Tour de France, it is an individual sport, there is only one winner -- ok, there is a team ranking too but hardly anybody cares about that -- however, while there is an individual winners, there are many teams. each cyclist in the team will do whatever to try to help the designated leader of the team to win, with whatever legal strategy.

    so how's badminton different than cycling?

    so if badminton is doing what cycling is doing, why is it that no one criticize cycling? the real reason is that each team has fixed number of cyclists. there is a fair entry into the race and all teams are "equal" (and thus fair) that way. each team gets 9 cyclists.

    in badminton, there is less of a "fair" entry, in the olympics and wc, only the top ranked players are allowed to play. in the GP events, usually the host country has more entries mostly due to the lower cost of travelling.

    similarities

    but there are also similarities. in a strong cycling team, the stronger supporting cyclists can stay with the leader, in a weak team, if the supporting cyclists can't keep up, then too bad. as a result, the strong team can play more tactics. just like badminton, a strong country like China who has many entries have more cards to play.

    so what's kwun's point?

    i don't neccessarily has a point. i am just analyzing the situation and pointing out the problem, and i am not saying who is right or wrong. we as audience see badminton as an individual sport, but certainly the national team structure and the natural evolution of badminton is going the other way.

    so where do we head from here? i don't know, some of us believes that badminton should remain as a individual sport, while some accepts the fact that badminton has become a team sport. i pointed out that both views has the problems.
     

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