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BADMINTON

Jørgensen’s world title dreams dashed by injury

Torn tendon ends Dane's hopes and removes another obstacle for world number one Lee Chong Wei. Fellow Dane Viktor Axelsen now carries the home hopes.

Jørgensen's world title dreams dashed by injury
Jørgensen was forced to abandon his contest against the unseeded Chou Tien-chen. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Scanpix
Jan Ø Jørgensen's dreams of claiming a world championship title on home soil were cruelly destroyed by injury on Thursday as the Danish third seed was forced to retire in his last-16 match against Taiwan's Chou Tien-chen.
 
Jørgensen was forced to abandon the contest trailing the unseeded Chou 21-9, 9-4 with his coach later saying the world number three suffered a torn patella tendon, causing acute inflammation and pain in his right knee, as efforts to patch him up proved unsuccessful.
 
"I'm very upset. The preparations for the tournament went well, I felt I had a good draw," said Jørgensen, who had been hoping to become the first European world champion since compatriot Peter Rasmussen in 1997. "I would prefer losing rather than not being able to play. Not being able to give a fight is worse. My whole dream of winning, of playing, burst so fast because I knew it was not a small thing. I knew it was a big problem, I struggled straight away."
 
Jørgensen had been on a collision course with world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, with the pair set to meet in the semi-finals, but the Dane's retirement removes another obstacle from the top seed's bid for a first world title.
 
Danish number two Hans-Kristian Vittinghus was knocked off by South Korean seventh seed Son Wan-ho 21-19, 21-12, but things went better for fellow Dane Viktor Axelsen, who moved through after beating Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 21-16, 21-17. Dutchman Eric Pang also reached the quarters.
 
Lee moves on, women's defending champ falls
Lee's bid for an elusive maiden title faced little resistance from third-round opponent Scott Evans of Ireland as he raced to a 21-11, 21-12 win.
 
"I just focussed on myself, taking things easy to prepare for tomorrow (Friday)," said the world number one, who will encounter Chinese sixth seed Wang Zhengming, a 21-15, 21-18 winner over Hong Kong's Wei Nan, with a place in the last four at stake.
 
There was a huge surprise in the women's draw as defending champion Intanon crashed out in the third round after the 19-year-old succumbed to Japanese 16th seed Minatsu Mitani 8-21, 21-12, 21-18.
 
"She was quicker and faster in the second game. She made me nervous by defending my smashes so well. I was getting tired after long rallies," said Intanon, who explained that she had spent five days in hospital prior to the tournament with a temperature that peaked at 39.5 degrees Celsius (103.1 degrees Fahrenheit).
 
"I couldn't play at 100 percent just four days after leaving hospital. I was only around 50 percent," said the 2013 champion.
 
Mitani's reward is a quarter-final against Korean fifth seed Sung Ji-hyun, a 21-10, 21-16 winner over Indonesia's Lindaweni Fanetri.
 
"After the second game I tried to simply play to my strengths, be patient and move around the court," said Mitani. "I didn't think about strategy I just tried to play my best."
 
Earlier world number one Li Xuerui of China blasted away 12th-seeded compatriot Han Li 21-9, 21-17 to march into the last eight.

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MATCH-FIXING

Denmark makes racket over ‘match-fixing’ Chinese badminton players

The national association for badminton in Denmark says the sport’s world federation should punish Chinese players for a match at last week’s Fuzhou China Open which has been described as a “farce”.

Denmark makes racket over 'match-fixing' Chinese badminton players
China's Junhui Li, left, and Yuchen Liu, seen here during a different match, lost in the controversial quarter-final in Fuzhou. AP Photo/Aaron Favila/Ritzau Scanpix

Bo Jensen, director of Badminton Denmark, wants the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to take action after seeing footage of a quarter final match in which He Jiting and Ta Qiang defeated Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen in three sets.

“I am giving my support to the criticism. This is cheating, it’s match-fixing and we can’t accept it,” Jensen said to TV2 Sport.

“In our context, this is just as bad as doping, and it must be punished because if it is not, we will damage the sport’s reputation amongst fans and the many sponsors that are making huge investments at the moment,” he added.

Several Danish badminton players are reported to have been present during the match. Doubles pair Mads Pieler Kolding and Mads Conrad-Petersen lodged a complaint with tournament organisers following the match about the way it had been played.

Another player, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, later posted an update on Facebook in which he compared the match to a scandal during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, when eight players from China, South Korea and Indonesia were disqualified for deliberately trying to lose.

“This was a complete farce of a match which made me think of the London Olympics when 4 pairs deliberately tried to lose their matches. I kid you not, it was this bad,” Vittinghus wrote, citing errors in play that “just (don’t) happen at this level”.

“Difficult to get hard evidence, but if you have watched a bare minimum of world class badminton, you’d know what just happened,” he also wrote.

The BWF told TV2 Sport that it would not comment on the issue prior to receiving a report from the tournament’s organisers.

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