Badminton Life

Badminton Official Sees Funny Side of April 1 Olympic Joke

World badminton officials were close to spitting feathers recently when an article on a major website said that the sport was being axed from the 2012 Olympic Games roster.

However, when they looked closely and saw that the writer, Ekaf Retroper was "Fake Reporter" spelled backwards, they realised it was an only an April Fool's joke. Of course, the article was released on April 1.

Sydney-based Robin Bryant, vice-president of Badminton World Federation, admitted he was initially caught by the story, posted on Badminton Central.

"I was taken in until someone told me it was an April 1 joke," he told Reuters. "When they got to the part about chess or croquet replacing us, then it was clear.

"It was quite well written and you've got to love the humour in it."

Badminton made its debut as a medal sport at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

The article, written in hard news style, had numerous giveaways within the text to make it clear that this was only a mock report.

For example, they quoted so-called International Olympic Committee spokesperson Y Rami Gami (imaginary backwards) and an IOC-attached doctor called Dr Latot Toidi.

But the fact that croquet and chess, hardly Olympic type sports, were mentioned as possible replacement sports really gave the game away.

However, the writers did their best to hide the nonsense within true reporting.

The following paragraph is a good example: "Other major sports still waiting for entry into the Olympic fold include rugby union, polo, rackets, golf, squash, wushu and karate."

Indeed, golf and squash were hoping to gain Olympic entry but were denied. But the upshot is that badminton, one of the fastest and most exciting sports in the Olympic roster, will continue at the Games.

Badminton was introduced as a medal sport at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and spelt immediate glory for Indonesia's sporting couple Allan Budi Kusuma and Susi Susanti, who won gold in the men's and women's singles respectively.

This year's Games in Beijing is likely to see host country China dominate the proceedings, led by world number one Lin Dan.

Indonesia does not have any women's singles players of note while their men's challenge will be spearheaded by defending champion Taufik Hidayat.

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