One of the eight badminton players who was disqualified from the Olympics for match-fixing is fighting back against those allegations, while also announcing her retirement from professional competition.
Yu Yang (pictured, left) took to Tencent Weibo (a Twitter-type of microblogging service popular in China) to respond to a reporter's posting that Wang Xiaoli, her teammate, had injured her knee in warmups before the match that ultimately ended their Olympics. The reporter, Zhang Nan, wrote this, perhaps in a desperate spot to explain what one media outlet called a "farce" of a match:
I just learned a piece of information from the team ~~ Wang Xiaoli injured her right knee in warmups before today's competition ~ because they had already advanced out of the group stage, they held back* during the match ~ also discovered opponents basically didn't warm up ~ understood they had no intention of winning the match ~ during the match the opponent first shaved a point ~ affected their [Chinese team's] state of mind ~ in end the led to today's situation ~ if only there were nothing to Wang Xiaoli's injury ~~
Which prompted this response from Yu:
Tomorrow is the knockout round, we don't have much time to make adjustments. No matter the result, we'll give it our all. Hope fans can understand our situation.
Hours later, the Badminton World Federation announced that Yu, her teammate, and six others had been disqualified for match-fixing, even though it's the result of an inherently flawed system, one that allows players to essentially decide which part of the bracket they'd like to be seeded into, provided they can lose at the right time. But after the BWF's announcement, Yu took to Tencent to drop this revelation:
This is my last competition. Goodbye Badminton World Federation, goodbye my beloved badminton.
We were simply injured, simply chose to abandon the match within the rules. Simply to play better in the second phase of competition, the knockout rounds. This is the first time the Olympics changed the rules to have pool play before knockout rounds, do you guys understand an athlete's injury? Four years of preparation and hard work with injury, (they) say it's gone and our right to compete is gone. You guys ruthlessly* shattered our dreams. Situation's just that simple, not complicated, but is so unforgivable.
So you see, they were just injured and wanted to get the match over with. That's all it really was. Had nothing at all with them trying to get a cushier seeding in their bracket. Nope, nothing to see here.
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