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One of the longest-running sagas in badminton officially ended last week when Malaysian Punch Gunalan resigned as deputy president of Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Gunalan, who has been in a senior position with the world governing body for the past 20 years, decided to cede to the wishes of the members by submitting his resignation letter.

This comes two weeks after he was given a vote of no confidence by the BWF members during their Annual General Meeting on the sidelines of the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Jakarta Indonesia.

Gunalan has been in a running battle with BWF president Kang Young-joong over the past two years and tried to topple the South Korea earlier this year.

However, the tables turned when the Mongolian Badminton Association put forward a proposal to give him a vote of no confidence, which was passed easily.

Stuart Borrie, BWF secretary general, said Gunalan's resignation closed the chapter on the issue and the body can now look forward to concentrating on organising the Beijing Olympic Games tournament.

"We have clear air going into Beijing and that is terrific for badminton," Borrie said.

Even though the 164 national federations had voted to oust Gunalan, it was not going to be ratified until the Court of Arbitration in Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland had given the final decision.

However, with Gunalan's resignation, it appears that the issue may not even get that far and it is now resolved.

In a statement on the BWF website, Kang said Gunalan made a "well placed decision that respects the sport that we all love and which respects the wishes of the membership of the BWF."

He also said Gunalan, 64, had a "long, distinguished and at times controversial career in the sport."

Borrie said that the body can now settle down and enjoy more peaceful times.

"It was quite clear that it was a divided board and was difficult to manage," said Borrie. "It will pave the way for more peaceful times. Punch came to realise that the sport is bigger than any individual. It was important for the sport and the focus on Beijing to allow people to get on and work together."

Elections to replace Gunalan are expected to be held when the Kuala Lumpur-based BWF council meets in Beijing in August. Gunalan was instrumental in changing badminton's points scoring system where points are now given to anyone who wins a rally, not like before when points were only awarded on serve.

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