New Delhi: Chih Shen Chen, chairman of the Asia Badminton Technical Committee, has apologized to two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu for the “human error” committed by the referee during the women’s singles semifinal. Badminton Asia Championships in April.
Sindhu was left in tears after a “dishonest” phone call from the umpires halfway through her semifinal match against Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, which saw her go down in three games and eventually sign off with a bronze medal, her second in the continental championship.
“Unfortunately, there is no rectification at this time. However, we have taken the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of this human error,” the official said in the letter to Sindhu.
“Our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced. We believe it is part of the sport and accepted as such.”
The incident happened while Sindhu was leading 14-11 in the second game after winning the first game when the umpire gave her a one-point penalty for taking too much time to serve between points.
Sindhu, who turned 27 on Tuesday, lost momentum after that incident, losing 21-13 19-21 16-21.
The Indian had an animated discussion with the head umpire after the chair umpire asked her to hand the shuttle over to Yamaguchi, but it all fell on deaf ears.
“The umpire told me that you take a lot of time, but the opponent was not ready at that moment. But the umpire suddenly gave her the point and it was really unfair. I think that was one of the reasons I lost,” Sindhu had said.
“I mean, that’s my feeling, because at the time it was 14-11 and could have been 15-11, but instead it went 14-12 and she kept taking points. And I think it was very unfair. Maybe I would have won the game and played in the final.”
Sindhu, who is a member of Badminton World Federation‘s (BWF) Athletes Commission, immediately wrote a letter to the World Organization and the Asian Badminton Confederation, protesting the decision.
Sindhu’s father PV Ramana hoped that such incidents would not occur in the future.
“I’m just glad they accepted the mistake. I can humbly request that if a situation like this happens again, the referee should take the time to review the recording, watch the videos and then make an appropriate decision,” he told PTI.
Sindhu is currently competing in the Malaysia Masters Super 500 tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
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