Badminton fight

Video: New footage of badminton fight shows racket, chair used as weapons; players comment

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More details have come to light regarding a badminton fight in Canada on Sunday thanks to a more detailed video of the incident.

A video lasting 2 minutes, 6 seconds, of what appears to be TV coverage of the match in Richmond, B.C., shows why Thailand’s Bodin Issara required two stitches.

The initial video from Monday was merely 24 seconds and only caught the second half of the altercation between Issara and his London Olympic doubles partner, Maneepong Jongjit. Issara and Jongit are no longer partners and were playing against each other in the doubles final in Canada.

Details on why they are no longer partners here.

In the new video, Issara and Jongjit are shown exchanging words following a break after the first set. Issara then took a couple swings at Jongjit and began chasing him around the court.

As he was being chased, Jongjit turned back and swung his racket at Issara’s head, striking it twice.

Jongjit leapt over a barrier between the court and the crowd. Issara followed suit and somehow wound up with a chair in his hands, which he immediately threw toward Jongjit.

Yesterday, we wondered why Issara, the instigator who took Jongjit to the ground and began punching him, needed stitches.

Now we know. The end of the video shows Issara’s bloodied ear, no doubt the result of those racket swings.

Issara’s team was disqualified, and the victory awarded to Jongjit, according to the Bangkok Post. Issara’s partner said Jongjit provoked him by showing him his middle finger, according to the newspaper.

Badminton Association of Thailand president Charoen Wattanasin said the fist fight was the most embarrassing incident in Thailand’s badminton history.

He described the incident as the worst in his decades-long career as a player and an official, and said the duo could face a life ban by the BWF.

“I have been in badminton for 58 years and never seen anything like this. It is very bad and causes damage to our reputation,” said Mr Charoen.

“(Issara) asked us why we were very noisy and then challenged me to a fight several times,” Jongjit told the Bangkok Post. “At the end of the first set, he came straight to me and punched me.”

Issara apologized.

“I am taking sole responsibility for the incident, although I was hit in the ear by a racket,” said Issara, whom the newspaper reported needed five stitches rathern than two. “I lost my cool. I want the matter to end here.”

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Hanyu, Miyahara into Grand Prix Final with wins at NHK Trophy

Yuzuru Hanyu
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Yuzuru Hanyu won the NHK Trophy in front of a home crowd in Japan in spectacular fashion – setting three world records – and qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the process.

He followed up his short program world record with a record setting free skate of 216.07 and a combined overall score record of 322.40.

China’s Boyang Jin finished second overall followed by Japan’s Takahito Mura. The U.S. Grant Hochstein finished fourth after an eighth-place finish in the short program.

Though the results are still unofficial, the men’s field in Barcelona will likely include no U.S. men, a streak that has continued since 2012. Max Aaron is eighth in the standings, but would be invited if he finished seventh overall. More on that the qualifying process here.

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Japan’s Satoko Miyahara took the ladies’ competition over the U.S.’ Courtney Hicks, who finished second in her first career Grand Prix circuit medal, and countrywoman Mao Asada, who finished third.

Ashley Wagner was fourth, the lowest place she could have to give her a berth to Barcelona. Wagner has earned a medal at every Grand Prix Final since 2012 (silver in 2012, and bronzes in 2013 and 2014).

Again, the overall standings are unofficial, but Miyahara, Asada, and Wagner should join Gracie Gold, Evgenia Medvedeva, and Elena Radionova in the Grand Prix Final.

Russia finished off the podium entirely in the ladies’ field – Alena Leonova and Anna Pogorilaya finished eitghth and ninth while Maria Artemieva finished 11th.

The last time no Russian women were on a Grand Prix podium – the final or otherwise – was in the 2012-13 season, where it happened a handful of times. Russian women have been featured on every Grand Prix circuit podium since the 2012-13 season, where they only missed out on Skate Canada, the Rostelecom Cup, the NHK Trophy, and the Grand Prix Final from that season. Names like Olympic gold medalists Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaya, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Elena Radionova, Pogorilaya, Leonova, and 2015 world junior champion Evgenia Medvedeva all contributed to that streak.

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U.S. pairs champions Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim earned a trip to Barcelona with a bronze medal in Japan. Leading the field in their ninth straight international win was Canadian pair Meaghan Duhamel and Eric Radford followed China’s Yu Xiaoyu and Jin Yang.

7 more Kenyan athletes banned for doping

Emily Chebet
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Two-time cross-country world champion Emily Chebet was among seven Kenyan athletes banned for doping Friday, another indication that the country has a serious problem of cheating among its famed distance runners.

Chebet, the cross-country world champion in 2010 and 2013, was banned for four years after testing positive for the diuretic and masking agent furosemide, the Kenyan athletics federation said.

The list of sanctions announced by Athletics Kenya included bans for the two runners that failed doping tests at the world championships in Beijing in August. Joyce Zakary and Koki Manunga, who were provisionally suspended at the worlds, also received four-year bans for furosemide.

There has been a recent spike in doping cases in Kenya and more than 40 athletes have now failed tests since 2012. Kenyan track officials are under scrutiny after allegations of doping cover-ups, and separate accusations of embezzlement of money at the national federation.

This week, a group of athletes stormed the federation headquarters in Nairobi demanding the resignation of top officials over the doping scandals and corruption allegations.

Along with her two cross-country world titles, the 29-year-old Chebet was a bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Her ban was backdated to July 17 and she will be unable to compete until July 16, 2019.

The doping cases of Zakary, a 400-meter runner, and Manunga, a 400-meter hurdler, undermined Kenya’s impressive display at this year’s worlds, where the country tied with Jamaica for the most gold medals with seven. They failed targeted tests carried out by world athletics body the IAAF in Beijing, enhancing suspicions that doping in Kenya is widespread.

Zakary set a national record of 50.71 seconds at the worlds before her failed test. The two were banned until Aug. 24, 2019.

The other four athletes banned on Friday were Agnes Jepkosgei, Bernard Mwendia, Judy Jesire Kimuge and Lilian Moraa Marita.

Jepkosgei was banned for four years for testing positive for the anabolic steroid metabolite norandrosterone. Mwendia was given a two-year ban for norandrosterone. Kimuge was banned two years for the norandrolone and Marita two years for the blood-booster EPO.

A World Anti-Doping Agency panel that recently reported on a systematic program of doping cover-ups in Russia said that Kenya also has a serious doping problem. That has spurred speculation that, like Russia, Kenya could face a blanket ban from international competition.

The IAAF has opened investigations into allegations that track officials in Kenya were involved in covering up positive doping tests. In a separate investigation, the IAAF is also looking at accusations of corruption against top officials at Athletics Kenya after they were questioned by Kenyan police over the alleged embezzlement of around $700,000 of the federation’s money.

One of the officials accused, AK Vice President David Okeyo, is a member of the IAAF’s decision-making council. The athletes protesting at Athletics Kenya this week demanded that Okeyo and AK President Isaiah Kiplagat step down.