Sports News

Lin Dan refuses to apologise for Korean Open scuffle

BEIJING (Reuters) - World number one Lin Dan has refused to apologise for his part in an ugly scuffle with South Korea singles coach Li Mao during the final of the Korea Open Super Series at the weekend.

China's Lin Dan (C) and his coach (L) argue with South Korea's coach Ri Mao from China during the men's singles final of the Yonex Korea Open Badminton Super Series against South Korea's Lee Hyun-il in Seoul January 27, 2008. World number one Lin Dan has refused to apologise for his part in the ugly scuffle. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Lin, beaten by Korean Lee Hyun-il in Seoul on Sunday, appeared to throw his racquet in fellow-Chinese Li’s direction after protesting a line call awarding a match point to Lee.

The hurled racquet sparked a shouting match between Lin and Li, and play was halted for about two minutes as match officials struggled to restrain world champion Lin.

Lin’s coach Zhong Bo also intervened, pushing Li, who shoved him back, and officials had to jump in to separate them.

Lin, China’s best hope for men’s singles gold at this year’s Beijing Olympics, went on to lose the final set 25-23 after being given a yellow card by Czech referee Mojmir Hnilica.

Lin refused to apologise for losing his temper, saying the Korean team had won “dishonourably” and that Li had taunted him after the referee awarded the match point.

“He verbally attacked me. He is also a Chinese. I could not accept him saying such things,” the Beijing News quoted Lin as saying. “The Korean team won very dishonourably, and I lost very unhappily. I will not apologise for this matter.”

Li Mao, who left China in 1999 to coach overseas after falling out with China’s current national coach Li Yongbo, said Lin had been “rude and immoral.”

He added that the Korean team would file a complaint with the Badminton World Federation, according to the China Daily.

“I have never seen such an ill-cultivated player in my coaching career,” the paper quoted Li as saying after the match.