Asian Games: Badminton players miffed as AC blowing shuttle off course

  • AFP
  • Updated: Sep 24, 2014 16:48 IST

Fierce air conditioning at the Asian Games badminton contest has upset the world's top players who say it is blowing the shuttlecock off course.

Organisers of one of the most popular events at the huge games say however that the cooling is needed for the crowds and that no player is at a disadvantage.

China's women's world number one Li Xuerui is among players who say the cooling system Gyeyang Gymnasium is affecting the flight of the shuttlecock.

"The stadium is windy and the wind speed is affecting the way we play," she told AFP.

South Korea's Son Wan-Ho and Chinese world champion Chen Long also said that it was harder to play at one end of the court than the other because of the air system.

"I've never experienced such wind," Japan's Kenichi Tago was quoted as saying by media.

Events manager Chooi Weng Sheng said organisers would try to keep the air conditioning fans turned low, although there were "limitations".

"We will try -- if really the wind is very strong then we will probably try to reduce the fan blow and see what happens. It will be monitored," Chooi told AFP.

"We will try to accommodate (players' feedback) but there are limitations we're going to face: the crowd, the weather, the time of day," he added.

Men's world number one Lee Chong Wei has also complained about the glare of bright lights around the futuristic arena, which was built for the Asian Games.

Chooi said match referees would monitor any air-con problems, but added that varying conditions were part and parcel of the professional game.

"It's equal for both sides -- if you experience the wind, I'm going to experience it too. So it's actually fair," he said.

"These players have played in many international tournaments facing the same situation... We can't change it (the air conditioning) all the time, and we can't be 100% perfect."

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