Olympics: Badminton's future in doubt, says gold medallist Taufik
(REUTERS) - Badminton's Olympic future is in jeopardy due to the continual mid-tournament retirements of leading players, Athens Games gold medallist Taufik Hidayat said on Wednesday.
Last week's US$1 million (S$1.2 million) Korean Open, the most lucrative super series event on the schedule, was blighted by a number of match retirements by players in the singles and doubles draws, a now common occurrence on the tour.
Chinese coaches have long been criticised for withdrawing their players to stop them going head-to-head in tournaments, and Indonesian Taufik is concerned the International Olympic Committee could end the sport's 20-year run at the Games.
"The situation has worsened since I started playing badminton at the age of 15. The constant retirements of players do not augur well for the game," the 31-year-old told Malaysian media on Wednesday.