BEIJING (Reuters) - China's badminton players get rattled by rowdy crowds in Malaysia and Indonesia and prefer playing in front of the more respectful European audiences, according to national team coach Li Yongbo.
The rivalry between world No.1 Lin Dan and Indonesia's Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, as well as the resentment felt by Asia's traditional badminton powerhouses at China's growing dominance, has made for some hostile receptions for Li's players.
"Fans in Malaysia and Indonesia are not so friendly," Li told Wednesday's China Daily. "Our players are booed and whistled when competing in those countries.
"We have no way to avoid these disruptions except by fully focusing on our matches. Our players must learn how to get past these interruptions from the stands."
Li said Chinese players were more comfortable in Europe.
"Fans there show more respect and cheer every player who plays well."
A rowdy and overwhelmingly Indonesian crowd cheered fiery Taufik to victory over Lin in the Asian Games final in Doha in December.
Li said the crowd in Madrid for the all-Chinese world championship semi-final between Lin and Chen Hong in September were far more sporting.
"There were so many foreign fans at the match and afterwards the whole stadium gave a long standing ovation for their brilliant performances," he said.
(source: The Star Online)