Badminton fans and audience members were shocked on Sunday when two players in the men’s doubles final of the Canada Open, taking place at Richmond Oval, started throwing punches.
During a change, Thai competitor Bodin Issara lunged at fellow Thai Maneepong Jongjit, chasing him onto another court and then punching him several times.
The two are former partners and split in January.
Issara needed two stitches to his ear and both of the teams were disqualified. Issara was dragged away while his partner, Thai Pakkawat Vilailak, escorted off Jongjit, who had lost his shirt in the scuffle.
The two of them had already been disciplined due to a verbal exchange. Both teams were disqualified from the final.
The Badminton World Federation is now investigating.
“The events surrounding the conclusion of this match will be thoroughly investigated by the BWF,” the federation said in a statement on Monday. “The world-governing body has procedures in place to deal with such situations and this matter will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.”
A professional badminton player who was watching the exchange said he was shocked the confrontation came to blows.
“In badminton there’s a lot of ego, a lot of testosterone going on, and it’s come close to this point many times before but I’ve never seen something go so over-the-top before,” said Luke Couture.
Richmond police were called to the scene, but officials had already broken up the fight. No one was charged in the fight.
Other players are hoping the match doesn’t set a bad precedent for the sport.
– With files from The Canadian Press
Raw footage of the brawl: