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Zac Purchase under fire for defending Olympic badminton ‘tactics’
9:34am Thursday 2nd August 2012 in News
WORCESTERSHIRE Olympic rower Zac Purchase has caused controversy on Twitter once again after seemingly defending the actions of eight badminton players disqualified from the Games.
The former King’s School Worcester pupil posted on his account yesterday that the athletes had been “playing tactically” and asked “what’s wrong with that?” prompting replies from disgruntled Olympic fans.
His comments come after a pair of players from China, two from South Korea and another from Indonesia were thrown out of the competition yesterday for “not using one’s best efforts to win a match”.
Just days before, Purchase – who once rowed with Upton and Evesham rowing clubs – had posted a picture of his security badge on the social networking site.
An hour after his original comment Purchase, who is one of Team GB’s strongest medal hopes and is set to compete in the semi-final of the men’s lightweight double sculls today, added that people should not blame the athletes as they were “playing the format to give them the best chance of winning long term”.
His comments were at odds with London 2012 chairman Lord Coe, who said the attempt to throw the matches to manipulate the draw was depressing and unacceptable.
While some users agreed with his tweets, many more argued the eight women’s doubles players’ actions were disgraceful.
Twitter user @WineBear said: “You are so wrong, you must play fair.”
And @HazzaJ_ wrote: “We paid £75 a ticket, turned up expecting world-class badminton, and got a match with the longest rally of 4 shots #GetItNow?”
Foul play was suspected during the badminton after Chinese top seeds Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang started to show little interest in beating Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na to finish top of Group A.
Coming second would have meant avoiding compatriots and second seeds Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei at least until the final.
Responding, the Koreans copied the Chinese and referee Thorsten Berg emerged to warn all the players.
The match restarted and the Koreans went on to win 21-14 21-11.
However, second Korean pair, the third seeds Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung, also engineered defeat in their match against Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.
Their motive was apparent retaliation to avoid Wang and Yu in the quarter-finals, an outcome they failed to achieve as they eventually won 18-21 21-14 21-12.
The Indonesians responded to the Koreans by trying to lose themselves.
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Zac Purchase on Twitter
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