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Star shuttlers flay draw system, BWF says “completely random”

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Fuzhou (China), Nov 6: Men's singles star shuttlers Chen Long, Lin Dan and Anders Antonsen raised concerns about the current draw system of Badminton World Federation (BWF) at Fuzhou China Open here on Wednesday, urging for a live-streaming lottery in the future.

The BWF responded to Xinhua in an email later on Wednesday, noting that players can be assured the draws for tournaments are completely random and they will always look into concerns of irregularities.

At the tournament, four of five Chinese men's singles athletes have been allocated in a four-player division, which brings the number of Chinese derby to three in the first two rounds.

Rio Olympic champion Chen, who saw off his compatriot Lin in the first round, expressed his anger about the draw afterwards. "I have never seen a draw like that in my career. The BWF should do the draws in public."

"The federation should give more consideration to the players, as they have their problems," Chen noted.

Lin, a two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion, said that "It is not only this time in Fuzhou that Chinese players have flocked together, it's happened a lot, in men's singles and women's singles."

The draw system of the BWF also drew criticism from Antonsen.

"(Denmark pair) Mathias Boe/Mads Conard-Petersen are facing Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong (of China) in the first round for the fourth time in the last five tournaments. I know for a fact that the chance for that to happen is almost non-existent," Antonsen said. "Similar situations have happened countless times over the years."

The world No. 5 reiterated this at Fuzhou on Wednesday, calling for manual, live-streamed lotteries in every Super 500, 750 and 1000 tournament, including the Olympics and World Championships.

In its statement to Xinhua, the BWF also noted that "this programme has been used by BWF for many years now and the system is programmed to process the draw following all relevant BWF General Competition Regulations and specific tournament regulations, where appropriate."

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