In a shocking development, former badminton women’s singles World Champion from China Ye Zhaoying has revealed that she was ordered to lose the 2000 Sydney Olympics semifinal against eventual champion Gong Zhichao
“They told me it was important that no one could see that I was losing deliberately,” Zhaoying was quoted as saying by TV 2 Sport.
According to the now 48-year-old, this was a deliberate conspiracy by the Chinese management against Camilla Martin – the silver medallist in women’s singles from 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“You feel so powerless, because it’s just you against the whole system. The Olympic Games are almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an athlete, and it feels so desperately tragic when you have to throw it all away. But I’m just one person, and there was nothing I could do against the system,” says Ye Zhaoying further said.
The ploy to force Zhaoying to lose the semifinal against Gong Zhichao worked out well for the Chinese as the latter went on to be crowned the Olympic champion by beating Camilla Martin.
Zhaoying, on the other hand, was forced into a bronze medal playoff against fellow Chinese star Dai Yun – a contest she won to win her only Olympic medal.
Ye Zhaoying was first crowned the World Champion in 1995 before defending her crown two years later in 1997. She also has a bronze medal in World Championships against her name from 1003.