(From AFP)

China’s all-conquering badminton coach Li Yongbo was urged to step down by angry fans after a shock Thomas Cup exit threw their Olympic preparations into chaos.

Li Yongbo, head coach of Chinese National Badminton Team.
Li Yongbo, head coach of Chinese National Badminton Team.

Spectators hissed and shouted “Li Yongbo quit!” as China lost 3-1 to South Korea in the Thomas Cup quarter-finals in Kunshan, near Shanghai. One weeping and hysterical supporter had to be escorted out by security as world number one Chen Long and then two doubles pairs flopped at the team championships.

The result augurs badly for China’s Olympic campaign in Rio de Janeiro, four years after they became the first country to win all five gold medals.

China, led by the militaristic Li, have dominated badminton for the past decade but unease is growing that the golden age may be coming to an end. “Li Yongbo should quit,” Chinese fan Zhang Bohan told AFP bluntly. “I feel like there’s something wrong with the Chinese team with the management or something.”

Chinese great Lin Dan won his match against Lee Dong-Keun but it hasn’t been a convincing tournament for the 32-year-old Olympic champion, who earlier dropped a game against French unknown Lucas Corvee. Read More

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