Badminton’s future in doubt, says gold medalist Taufik
Badminton’s future in doubt, says gold medalist Taufik
Last week’s $1 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 criticized 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 yesterday.
“There is talk that badminton may not make it as a sport in the 2020 Olympics. We must bear in mind that other sports are strongly lobbying to be included.
“I have just started my own center. It caters for eight or nine-year-olds. Now, I am not sure whether they will get a chance to play in the Olympics.”
Squash is one of the sports that is campaigning heavily for a place in the 2020 Olympics alongside karate, the Chinese martial art of wushu, baseball/softball, roller sports, wakeboarding and climbing.
Badminton received a barrage of negative headlines in London last year after four women’s doubles pairs played to lose matches in order to get a more favorable draw.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) disqualified and banned the players involved and Taufik called for the Malaysia-based body to take a similar stance on withdrawals.
“I hope to see BWF amend or strengthen their rules and regulations on players and the tournaments. And the BWF must also make a greater effort to make the sport big in America and Africa,” said Taufik.
The Indonesian is in Kuala Lumpur to take part in the ongoing Malaysian Open, one of his final events before he retires in June after his home Indonesia Open.
LeBron James' last-second shot gives Cavs 98-95 win over Pacers in Game 5
- James' 3-pointer buzzer beater puts Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs
- James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists.
CLEVELAND: LeBron James hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a crowning moment for another brilliant performance, to give Cleveland a 98-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in Game 5, putting the Cavaliers within one victory of advancing in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Moments after blocking Victor Oladipo’s possible go-ahead driving layup, James caught the inbounds pass, took two dribbles and dropped the winner over Thaddeus Young.
As Cleveland’s sellout crowd exploded, James hugged rookie teammate Cedi Osman before jumping on the scorer’s table to celebrate another of those moments that will define his career.
James finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and went 15 of 15 from the line.
Kyle Korver added 19 points and Cleveland’s much-maligned defense tightened just in time as the Cavaliers seized their first lead in the first-round series after being down 1-0 and 2-1.
Cleveland can close out Indiana with a win Friday night in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis scored 22 points, and Young had 16 for the Pacers, who battled back to tie it 95-all on Sabonis’ 15-foot jumper with 33 seconds left. Indiana, which held Cleveland without a field goal for more than seven minutes during their fourth-quarter rally forced James into a turnover and had a chance to re-take the lead.
Oladipo, who shot just 2 of 15, drove the left side and was at the rim when James swooped in for a block on a play reminiscent of his Game 7 block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Oladipo’s shooting woes continued. He’s only 12 of 50 from the field in the last three games. He scored 32 in the Pacers’ Game 1 win, but the Cavs have been double-teaming him ever since.
The third quarter has been a major problem for Cleveland all season. The Cavs had tried everything to try and shake things up after halftime, even doing layup lines at the break in Game 4 like a high school squad.
Turns out, all it took was some defensive intensity.
Down by seven at half, the Cavs swarmed the Pacers in the third quarter, forcing five turnovers in the first six minutes and holding Indiana to one field goal over the first 6:52 while opening with a 19-3 run.
Cleveland outscored Indiana 32-17 in the third, when the Pacers shot just 5 for 16 (31 percent) and committed seven turnovers.
The Cavs were again without starting point guard George Hill, who missed his second straight game with back spasms.
James had enough to worry about with the Pacers that he didn’t want to discuss close friend Dwyane Wade’s future.
Miami’s star is mulling retirement after the Heat were eliminated Tuesday in Philadelphia. James spent four years playing in Miami with Wade, who began this season with the Cavs before being traded.
James said that following his last game against Wade he told him, “’If it’s like our last time going against each other, then it’s been everything and more.” James wants to wait for Wade to make his decision and will then “give a more in-depth analysis of his career if he decides to hang ‘em up.”
Pacers: Following Lance Stephenson’s aggressive, wrestling-like takedown of Jeff Green in the waning moments of Game 4, coach Nate McMillan said he reminded the fiery forward to be careful. “The officials are going to be watching that, Lance knows that and there are some times where I think they (the Cavs) are taking advantage.” ... Dropped to 2-12 in their last 14 games in Cleveland. ... James’ triple-double in Game 4 was the sixth against Indiana in the playoffs. James has done it to the Pacers three times.
Cavaliers: With his 21st 40-point game in the playoff, James tied the logo — Jerry West — for the second-most all-time. Michael Jordan scored at least 40 in 38 postseason games. .... Hill’s back has improved in the past few days, but he didn’t look close to playing while sitting stiffly in his locker-room chair before the game. ... Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown sat courtside.
Game 6 is Friday night at Indianapolis.