EIGHT badminton players, including world women’s doubles champions Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang of China, were disqualified from the Olympics for match fixing.
Two South Korean pair Jung Kyun-eun and Kim Ha-na and compatriots Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung were also disqualified along with Indonesia's Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii for deliberately trying to lose in order to get a favorable draw in the quarterfinals.
The Badminton World Federation said the players were disqualified for "conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport."
The disqualifications pave the way for Russians Valerina Sorokina and Nina Vislova and Canadians Alex Bruce and Michele Li in Group A.
Also advancing were Australia’s Leanne Choo and Renuga Veeran and South Africa’s Michelle Edwards and Annari Vijloen from Group C.
South Korea head coach Sung Han-kook was quoted as saying the Chinese team was looking to avoid an all-Chinese match in the quarterfinals and thus purposely lost the match.
Wang and Yu were expected to face off with their compatriots later in the tournament but the loss of the No. 2 Chinese team to a pair from Denmark in the group stage presented a possible all-China quarterfinal.
Yu and Wang faced Jung and Kim, with the Koreans beating the world champions 21-11, 21-14 in just 20 minutes.
Koreans Ha and Kim thus later looked determined to lose against Polii and Jauhari to avoid meeting the world champions Wang and Yu in the quarterfinals. The Koreans nevertheless won 18-21, 21-14, 21-12.
"We have to be clear, there has been a problem here and we have to take that problem very seriously," BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said. "There are things we can improve on and look at after this competition."