Olympic badminton rowing


The mighty DeutschlandAchter.


The NZ pair (gold) congratulating the UK pair (bronze). The UK were completely out of their lane over the finish line.

Or, if you're interested in my original subject:

It am all de news: Olympics badminton: Four pairs charged with not trying.

My take on this is different: I've watched some of the sport (not the badminton, obviously, because it shouldn't be an olympic sport any more than football should be) and its exciting: you're watching people doing their very best to do as well as they possibly can. The rowing is gorgeous, especially the VIII's: 2000m at 1:20 splits with every single stroke exactly the same as the previous one. Woo!

But the badminton story is that, suddenly, due to the pattern of who had won or lost, it became advantageous to some of the players to lose, not win their matches. At which point they... started to lose, not win, their matches. Which is exactly what they should be doing. Der.

The fault, obviously, lies with the idiots who designed the heats system that lead to these perverse incentives.

But enough of that nonsense! On with the rowing:


Bit of a shame for the Poles. They get something close to a row-over, and a head-wind so no real incentive to try extra-hard.


But on reflection, the headwind is great for crews in the lead... they aren't going to get a record, so they don't have to kill themselves, just win. And we see: the UK's first olympic gold. Cycling disappoints, swimming disappoints, rowing comes through. As always :-)


Your olympic news service continues... as expected (really, in our heart of hearts, we knew) the Germans win the men's eights. But it was a thrilling race; we caught them up and were ahead at 1500m by a few feet, but they pushed out well ahead at the end. And perhaps because we'd pushed, Canada overtook us to the line. But it was worth it.


Men's lightweight IV, Thursday. Superb race (item 13) with a wonderful push through by SA at the line.

That Drysdale digs a bit, eh?


More like this

Yeah, and as well as all those words you've just written we also have the loss of Lizzie A's "Lucky" sunnies as being perhaps the only reason she didn't get Gold [Although it does appear that she's rolled back a bit on the old superstition thing now by tweeting that she's very happy with her new gratis pair. And good for her, because she did brilliantly without them]

remind me again why badminton shouldn't be an olympic sport?

[Why because I neither play it nor have any interest in it, of course ;-) My father played, though. Also... because I dislike "artificial rules" sports, like this and football, say. Rowing (or running) is just how-fast-can-you-go (though there are some restrictions on boat and rigging which are artificial, but that is minor) -W]

just because white people (other than some Danes and Brits) don't dominate it the way that China, Malaysia and Indonesia do, doesn't mean that it isn't a global sport. And it's no where near a professional sport like soccer in terms of compensation to athletes. Friends of mine who were ranked top 30 in the world made, on average about $50k a year gross.

[I had no idea who played it or who dominates it. And... don't take me too seriously on that bit. I really don't care even enough to argue about it :-) -W]

By some accounts its the second most popular sport in the world based on participation rates. Methinks your parochial attitude is showing weasel. And your a brit for fucks sake!

wrt to the current broohah, your right that the fault lies with the round robin structure (they're not called heats) not with the athletes themselves. This just goes to show how boneheaded the leadership at the BFW has become over the years. It was bad enough when they fundamentally altered the game by introducing a rally point system (as in volleyball) to make it more 'television friendly', thus TOTALLY altering the dynamic of the game, but then the started toying with idiotic ideas like this one

By Marlowe Johnson (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

"because I dislike "artificial rules" sports"


stupid purist. as I've often argued with my father (competitive cyclist) and my sister (future olympic paddler) any sport that doesn't involve 'artificial rules' (e.g. running, swimming) where you can essentially park your brain at the door is boring. what separates 'humans' from horses is our 3 pound brain. I much prefer sports that require the use of physical and intellectual skill. For some reason I don't get invited over to dinner as often as I used to ;)

[Running involves constant thinking, as (more obviously) does rowing. Even if you can't see it. I don't know about cycling -W]

By Marlowe Johnson (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

Cycling certainly does as the Brits learned in the Men's RR. There the peloton decided that they just weren't going to help the British catch the break, they were just going to make them do it themselves. As a result the British wore themselves out and Vinokourov won. Why didn't the peloton help? Basically this is because everyone knew that if the British got involved in a bunch sprint at the end of the race that Cavendish would win the thing. 9 man teams would have changed the dynamic, but in the Olympics you only have 5 man teams to this worked out.

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

I agree that running involves constant thinking, but I'd suggest that it's more along the lines of 'why am I doing this exactly?"

[Ah, then you aren't doing it hard enough :-) -W]

By Marlowe Johnson (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

Cycling more than running because of the team structure involved, which are organized to lead to one particular member winning the race. Far more variables to process, plus, as strategy evolves during the course of a race, communication's key to get everyone on a team on the same page.

Also, I don't see that sprints require much thinking. Blow and go, 10 or 20 seconds and you're done. Distance races, yes, lots of strategy going on during the course of the race.

A human brained horse is noncompetitive with the Kenyans at marathonis distances, or so I’ve read. Evolution thing, or just another spurious claim to distinction at a task other than keying witticism.

By SplatterPatterns (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

"A human brained horse"

I have no idea what that means, but I bet a horse carrying a human 26 miles will do so much faster than a kenyan carrying a horse.

There's a whole heap of rubbish in the Olympics that should be purged - Badminton, Tennis, Soccer, Baseball (FFS!), water polo and Basketball to name a few. This stuff just doesn't belong there. I'm very dubious about horseriding, too.

The Olympics is about running, jumping, throwing (shooting even), lifting weights, swimming and rowing. Cycling is slightly dodgy, but it still belongs there. Gymnastics and diving are probably acceptable.

Synchronised swimming is an even worse abomination than baseball.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

Dude! You're leaving out rhythmic gymnastics!

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink


No bet unless the pony is one of Watts’.

By SplatterPatterns (not verified) on 01 Aug 2012 #permalink

No bet unless the pony is one of Watts’.

Foiled again! (and clever, too!)

for badminton, simples, after the round robin, all teams that have made it go back intothe hat, and a draw is performed. You dasn't know whom yer next opponent will be!

And what about that pair of Bond and Murray eh ?

[Just updated the post; I caught the last 1000m; epic -W]


The fault, obviously, lies with the idiots who designed the heats system that lead to these perverse incentives.

Amazingly, neither the coaches nor the national teams were punished, only the players. It's obvious that the strategy came down from upon high ...

Well, no, actually I'm not amazed, unfortunately.

The solution to the round robin problem used in contract bridge tournaments seems effective: each team in the top half of the round robin get to choose a knock-out opponent from the teams in the bottom half of the qualifiers, with the first-placed team getting first pick, and so on.

As to what sports should be in the olympics, I propose three criteria:
1) Rules infractions aside, the results should be readily observable, and not left up to judges - goodbye gymnastics, boxing...
2) The olympics should be the most important event in the sport, or nearly so - goodbye tennis, football...
3) The sport should be inexpensive and widely accessible - goodbye rowing, track cycling, sailing, horse riding...

Which leaves GB with not much it's any good at.

[I can partly agree with you, but any system that excludes rowing must obviously be wrong. So I'll claim that rowing isn't actually expensive, as I have to various other folk. Rowing club membership is typically ~£200 a year, less than many runners spend on single pair of shoes -W]

Stoat in a boat
taking the Arctic
by the throat

I hope Stoat will cover this as only Stoat would.

By Pete Dunkelberg (not verified) on 05 Aug 2012 #permalink

Three alternative criteria:

1) No team sports. (So single sculls are OK but not fours.)

2) No alloys or carbon-fibre. (Farewell single sculls?:)

3) No chasing after an old man on a moped or prancing about with a hankie.

[Knocking out all sweep-oared boats would ruin it.

Essentially all boats nowadays, even lo-spec ones, are carbon fibre, as are the blades. Wooden boats of similar spec would be far more expensive. Rowing is largely free of the kind of nonsense that F1 or sailing suffers from re equipement -W]

By Vinny Burgoo (not verified) on 06 Aug 2012 #permalink

Ball games don't belong in the Olympics, & badminton doesn't even have the balls to be a ball game.

[Tempted you in at last! -w]

By William Ingram (not verified) on 07 Aug 2012 #permalink

To expand the badminton 'scandal' type thinking in 100m dash would have disq. a certain mr. Bolt since he obviously didn't run at his top speed in the qualifying rounds. (in the defence of badminton) ;-P