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LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) - Sweeping late changes to the
schedule of the Olympic badminton tournament, prompted by an
"oversight", infuriated players on Friday.
"It's bad. It's not right," said Polish men's doubles player
Michal Logosz after organisers announced that some 60 percent of
the matches, mostly in the doubles draws, would be affected by
the changes to the tournament which starts on Saturday.
"It's the most important competition. It's crazy that they
can't do the draw how they are supposed to," said German doubles
player Johannes Schoettler.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) apologised to the
players after it emerged that the original schedule published on
Wednesday had not followed the competition regulations as agreed
with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"There was an oversight and it's human error that this had
not been carefully checked by our own team and myself at the
outset," tournament referee Torsten Berg said.
"But of course if somebody had expected to have a late
morning on Saturday and they now have to play early they will be
disappointed," he added. "We understand that and we are sorry
about this happening but see no choice other than to apply the
BWF regulations and our agreement with the IOC."
The tournament at Wembley Arena begins with pools of players
competing in round-robin matches.
Schoettler said he and partner Ingo Kindervater had already
prepared for an early game against Australia and now faced
Taiwan in an evening match instead.
"I started getting up early the last few days to get ready.
We should have played Australia, the weakest in our group," he
said after a training session.
"My brother SMS-ed me this morning to say we now play
Chinese Taipei, our most important match, and now on Saturday
"It's stressful. We have moved to Wembley Plaza Hotel
because we play tomorrow. "We could have stayed in the Olympic
Village one more night and everything (would have) been easier."
Logosz said the scheduling changes had played havoc with the
plans of family and friends.
"This is really bad," said Logosz, who will partner Adam
Cwalina against South Korea's Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong on
"It's never happened before and it happens in the Olympics
-- it's not right. For me it's not really bad but for mixed
doubles, two matches in one day, this is a disaster. Maybe they
will do something about that.
"We have tickets for families and friends and we found out
only 24 hours before the matches."
(Editing by Clare Fallon)