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New Olympic badminton competition format "unthinkable", says Lin Dan

05-11-2012 15:50 BJT

QINGDAO, China, May 11 (Xinhua) -- Different from former Olympic badminton competition format, the London Olympic Games will witness the debut of a new format, to be played on two stages - group play and knock out stages.

However, four-time world champion and reigning Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan of China reckons the new format is a bit "unthinkable" , saying the group play stage is unfair.

"It is unthinkable they worked out such a strange format," said Lin who is training in Qingdao for the upcoming Tomas and Uber Cup late this month.

Badminton World Federation (BWF) established the new format where men's and women's singles players will be divided into 16 groups. Players will play in a round-robin format in the group stage while first-place finishers from each group qualify for the knock out stage.

For the pairs events, shutterls in men's, women's and mixed doubles will be divided into four groups respectively, with a maximum of four pairs in each group, while top two pairs from each group qualify for the knock out stage.

To Lin, the new format was not only a complicated one, but seemed a little unfair if each group could not have the same number of players. According to badminton's world governing body BWF, only 40 male shuttlers and 46 female players made their way to the London Games by far.

"It's unfair if the number of shuttlers in each group is different," he said.

"I think BWF should give some invitations to other shuttlers so as to guarantee the same number of players in each group," he added.

Despite the changes in competition format, Lin admitted that he needed to focus on preparing for the Games.

"No matter how the format is, the top priority for me is to focus on my match. Every group match shouldn't be overlooked."

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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