Kuala Lumpur: China’s World No. 41 Qiao Bin who pulled off a huge upset by defeating World No. 8 Son Wan Ho of Korea to capture his first career Superseries title in a 21-11, 21-23, 21-7 three-set thriller on Sunday served as a big surprise to many badminton fans around the world.
However, after his victory in Seoul, the internet has been abuzz with controversy about his real age.
Qiao Bin was listed as being born on 11/17/1992 at the Badminton World Federation (BWF) website, and he was only 23 years old when he won the Korea Open on Sunday. However, badminton fans around internet quickly discovered discrepancy between his age listed on BWF web site and Wikipedia, baidu, and other web sites.
Based on BadmintonPlanet.com’s research, Wikipedia reported Qiao Bin was born on 20, January, 1990, in Xiangtan, Hunan province.
Baike.baidu.com (a Chinese version of Wikipedia) also showed Qiao Bin was born on 20, January, 1990. BadmintonPlanet also noticed Qiao Bin who played for a badminton club in China called Qingdao Ren Zhou Badminton Club in the China Badminton Super League, his official profile in that club show also showed him to be born on 20, January, 1990.
It is worth noting that Lin Dan was also part of the Qingdao team that won the 2015/2016 China Badminton Super League championships.
Regardless what Qiao Bin’s real age is, it is clear that something is not right, and hope BWF can launch an in-depth investigation into this issue.
Qiao Bin is not the first Chinese athlete to be doubted for age fabrication. In 2004, basketball player Yi Jianlian who has signed with LA Lakers recently was said as being born on Oct. 27, 1987. However, he was listed as being born on Oct. 27, 1984 during the Four Nation Tournament but Chinese officials said that it was probably a typographical error. The same thing happened to former NBA player Wang Zhizhi who had been listed as being born in both 1977 and 1979.
In the 2008 Beijing Games, Chinese gymnasts were reported to cheat by including one member, He Kexin who was 14 at that time as part of their gold medal winning team. However, after an investigation, the authority could not find any evidence of cheating.
Nevertheless, China were stripped of their team gymnastics bronze medal when a member of the China team had failed to meet the age criteria at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.