I heard about this on the news this morning. Sky even showed some video. From what I saw, the match was really really bad (and it looked like they were trying to be the worst). Why? To mess with the rankings in the final.
My question…does it happen in other events? Is it as obvious in other events? What about the swimmer who only needs to finish in the top 5 to move on in one event but they have another event in short order? How could you tell if they only put out enough effort to be 3rd? Or what about the weightlifter who could lift more but doesn’t because they don’t want to get hurt?
Sure, it is probably against the spirit of the olympics, but wouldn’t a world class athlete look at all possibilities?
Now, I don’t really have an opinion on this. The match would have been terribly boring to watch, sure. I’m sure it went against the spirit of the olympics of giving it you all. I just wanted to write about something and this seemed interesting enough to spark a conversation.
[Update 2012-08-01 11:56:20] It turns out that the organizers changed how the matches were played this year. Instead of a single-elimination system, it was moved to this group playoff. See this article in the telegraph.
[Update 2012-08-01 14:38:58] They just got expelled.
[Update 2012-12-26 09:55:58] The telegraph link needed updating
Image from lovette<3 via flickr