LONDON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Qing Tian and Zhao Yunlei, whose loss in group play was perhaps the catalyst to an Olympic scandal, Thursday reached the women's doubles badminton finals.
The women's Olympic tournament became the center of worldwide attention Wednesday when the Badminton World Federation kicked eight players out of the Games for trying to manipulate the pairings for the doubles quarterfinals.
When the Chinese team of Qing and Zhao lost to a Danish duo in group play Tuesday, it appeared that the two powerful Chinese doubles teams in the tournament would wind up in the same half of the draw for the knockout round.
In hopes of trying to prevent that, and having already clinched their quarterfinal spot, China's Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang tried to purposely lose their final group match.
The same thing happened in another group match and the attempts to lose were so blatant that badminton officials had to take action. Wang and Yu, partners in the top doubles team in the world, were expelled along with six others.
Wang took to her twitter account Thursday to say she was retiring from the sport, although there was no confirmation from anyone associated with the Chinese delegation.
Qing and Zhao weren't affected by the disqualifications, so they kept playing and on Thursday they defeated Russians Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova to reach the finals.
The Russians and three other teams had been eliminated from the tournament prior to the disqualifications but they were reinstated and those four duos wound up making up half of the quarterfinal draw. Another team in that position, consisting of Canadians Alex Bruce and Michele Li, won a set in the semifinals but eventually lost to Japan's Mazuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa.
Either the Russian or Canadian team will win a medal in the third-place match on Saturday.
The men's semifinals were set in badminton Thursday with Wei Lee Chong of Malaysia set to meet Chen Long of China and Hyun Lee of South Korea scheduled to face China's defending champion Lin Dan.