What's your take on the suspended women's badminton players?

Leading Off: Olympic spirit violated? Hold on just a minute

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012 - 9:20 am

If the object of competing in the Olympics is to win a gold medal, weren't the women's badminton players who attempted to tank their matches Tuesday trying harder and working smarter toward that goal than if they attempted to win?

Everyone praises swimmers who conserve energy – and thereby don't finish first – in preliminary rounds. What's so different about what the badminton players did? Their incentive – a favorable matchup in a subsequent round – was juicier, just more obvious.

Blame the round-robin format, started this year, for opening the door. And if the door is open, somebody is going to walk through.

Insist on a format under which teams always benefit by winning. No fuss, no muss.

Instead, eight suspended athletes doing their best to win gold were wronged, as were the understandably unhappy fans paying to watch real competition.

Tonight's prime time

Ch. 3, 8 p.m.-midnight

• Gymnastics: Women's all-around final

• Swimming: Finals in men's 200 individual medal and 200 backstroke, women's 100 freestyle and 200 breaststroke

• Beach volleyball: U.S. men vs. Czech Republic

• Rowing: Women's eight final

Locals watch

• Scott Weltz, Davis, swimming: The UC Davis graduate finished fifth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:09.02.

• Alyssa Anderson, Granite Bay, swimming: Though she didn't swim in the final of the 4x200 freestyle relay, she earned a gold medal with her 1:56.33 performance in the third leg of the morning heats.

Medal leaders

Team	G	S	B	T	

China 17 9 4 30

U.S. 12 8 9 29

Japan 2 4 11 17

France 5 3 5 13

Germany 3 8 2 13

Today's poll

What's your take on the suspended women's badminton players?

• Losing intentionally is never acceptable.

• If there's a format under which losing is beneficial, losing is justified.

Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday's results

What best describes how you are watching the Summer Olympics?

• Nightly program: 34%

• Cable: 10%

• Live streaming: 3%

• A bit of everything: 29%

• Not watching: 24%

Total votes: 211

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