Several Korean line judges acted too soon, says BWF official
Kuala Lumpur - An official from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has admitted that some line judges at the recent Korean Open made rulings even before the shuttlecock hit the floor.
|Venu Mahalingam, BWF events manager, said he witnessed occasions when line judges at the tournament raised their hands before the shuttle hit the ground, assuming they knew where it would land. |
However, he said these line judges were mostly ex-players and the BWF has great faith in the overall standard of umpiring and line judges in Korea.
"The problem is that some of the line judges at the Korean Open were ex-players, and they are sometimes over-confident when it comes to making calls," Mahalingam told Reuters.
"Having been players, they think they know where the shuttle is going to land and often they raise their hand before it has even reached the floor."
Last month's Korean Open was marred by several controversial line calls, with overseas players accusing the local officials of favouring Korean players.
The major controversy happened in the men's singles final, where local star Lee Hyun-il defeated world number one Lin Dan, of China, 4-21, 23-21, 25-23.
Lin was furious at one particular call, at 20-20 in the final game, when Lee's cross-court smash was called in.
It was a crucial moment in the game and Lin was so angry that he tried to shove the Korean coach, Chinese national Li Mao. Lin received a yellow card for that incident but he was able to calm himself down and save two match points before eventually losing to the Korean.
Mahalingam, however, defended the line judge and the referee involved in that call at 20-20.
He said the umpire could do nothing about it because the line judge had already confirmed that the shuttle was in, even though many in the stadium though it had landed at least two centimeters wide.
Mahalingam was at the stadium in Korea and he said it was difficult to see exactly where the shuttle had dropped.
"That call, from where I was sitting was too close," said Mahalingam. "The line judge confirmed to the umpire that it was in and the umpire accepted it. There was nothing more he could do.
"Overall, we are happy with the standard of line calling in Korea. They do a very good job."
Mahalingam said that Korea would continue to host major tournaments on behalf of the BWF.
The Korean Open was part of the BWF's Super Series, which is the new international circuit launched last year with the aim of creating greater playing and earning opportunities for pro players.
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