HA NOI — New rules will be applied at the London Olympics' badminton event which will help players avoid early dismissal from the tournament.
|Bird man: Viet Nam's Nguyen Tien Minh returns a shot against Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei during the men's singles quarterfinals round of the Malaysia Open Super Series in Kuala Lumpur last January. Both will enjoy the new badminton rules to be applied at the Olympics in London. — AFP/VNA Photo
According to organisers, all events begin with a preliminary stage: the competitors are divided into groups and each player or doubles pair plays everyone else in their group.
Then the 16 singles winners and eight pairs in the doubles qualify for the knockout stage of the competition, which will eventually decide the winners of the medals.
In Beijing four years ago, the knock-out rule was applied in the first round and Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Minh, one of top ten seeds, was sent home immediately after losing 1-2 to Hsieh Yu-hsing of Chinese Taipei.
Ranked 11th in the world, Minh is Viet Nam's sole representative to this summer's Games.
"The round-robin format adopted in the preliminary stages of the London Olympics brings athletes the chance to play competitive matches before the main event. Players might also feel more comfortable ahead of the competition and avoid the shock of early elimination," said Le Thanh Sang, general secretary of the Viet Nam Badminton Federation.
Tey Seu Bock, Malaysian national coach, who takes care of the Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei, agreed.
"The round-robin format is good for professional players as they can use the matches to warm up for the title challenge. However, Chong Wei needs to focus on every match," he said at the Juara Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
In this summer's competition, badminton will be the first event, played from July 28 until August 5. The event's draw will be held on July 23.
The competition will see 172 competitors compete for medals in five competitions – men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles.
Each country is limited to three athletes in each singles event and two pairs in each doubles event, depending on their position in the world ranking list from May 2012 that determines qualification.
Asian countries now dominate the sport with China, Indonesia and South Korea having won 23 of the 24 gold medals awarded since it first appeared in the Games. — VNS