The disqualification of 4 women’s doubles teams from the Olympic Badminton competition places the blame in the wrong place.
As the report says, “Several BWF employees said concerns had been raised when it was announced that the Olympic badminton events would begin with a round-robin group stage rather than, as before, being knockout from the start.”
The reason for introducing the round-robin stage is clear enough – to allow ‘lesser known’ players more playing time – but the organisers (including the gormless-seeming Thomas Lund) really need to take responsibility for not considering the consequences or tweaking the system to prevent such a scenario (eg: a new draw after the round robin stage to see what teams play one another, rather than have the table topper from each group face the second placed team in another group).
The Guardian’s Simon Jenkin’s take on it feels right:
The players train for 4 years to try to win medals; the organisers are to blame for introducing a system that made winning every match actually detrimental to that goal.
The result : they now have 4 of the weakest teams in the field playing in the quarter finals. More playing time I guess! :p