Hidayat outburst over media no-show
Badminton star Taufik Hidayat angrily lashed media Wednesday for
giving him a "bad name" after he missed a press conference, while
Chinese legend Lin Dan offered a grovelling apology.
Hidayat said Indonesian press had accused him of lacking
professionalism for not meeting journalists before this week's Singapore
Open, but he insisted he was never told about Monday's media commitment.
The outspoken 2004 Olympic gold medallist opened fire immediately after
scraping through his first-round match 22-24, 21-12, 21-18 against
Malaysian qualifier Daren Liew. "I'm sorry about not coming for the
press conference on Monday, but the media said I'm not professional. How
come I'm not professional?" Hidayat asked.
"You tell me one hour before (about the press conference) so why do
you write in the Indonesian media that I'm not professional? It gives me
a bad name," he fumed.
"It's big. In Indonesia, badminton is big. My name is bad about it
through the media. I never said 'no' to the press conference."
A tournament official said Hidayat and defending champion Sony Dwi
Kuncoro were never told about the press commitment, which China's Lin
skipped with a stomach upset.
"If the player did not receive the message it's not the fault of the
player," said media director Rose Tan. India's Saina Nehwal turned up so
late the press conference room was closed, while five Chinese players
who did come for interview looked bad-tempered and angered journalists
with their short answers.
The incidents provided further negative headlines for badminton after
its much-criticised attempt to force women players to wear skirts, in a
bid to attract more fans.