Thai badminton brawl in Vancouver
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Thai badminton brawl in Vancouver

A fistfight broke out during a match between former doubles partners who had represented Thailand at the Olympics during an international badminton tournament in Vancouver, Canada, on Sunday.

Back in the days: Bodin "Art" Issara, left, and Maneepong "A" Jongjit are former badminton partners representing Thailand.

Reports said Bodin "Art" Issara and Maneepong "A" Jongjit glared at each other and exchanged several heated words as the two teams switched to the opposite side of the court mid-match at the Canada Open 2013 Badminton Men's Double Final.

Art suddenly let go of his racquet and chased A into another court. Art threw punches and kicked his former playing partner until coaches and tournament staff intervened. (see video below)

The match official disqualified the two national athletes. 

According to medical staff, A received five stitches to his ear.

Art was partnering Pakkawat "Top" Wilailak in the match and A's partner was Nipitphon "Tonnam" Puangpuapech.

A told reporters on Monday that Art started the fight and also gave him the middle finger.

Top, who was Art's partner, said it was A who first raised the finger as the teams switched to the opposite sides of the court. 

Top said the YouTube video did not record the action of A who allegedly used his racquet to hit Art.

Charoen Wattanasin, president of the Badminton Association of Thailand, said he was informed that Art and A were trying to agitate each other throughout the match and they also received a warning from a referee for a verbal exchange.

"Any wrongdoers will be penalised because this may affect other international tournaments," Mr Charoen said. "I've been in the badminton circle for 58 years and I've never seen anything like this. This is very bad."

In January this year, Art and A, both aged 22, were ranked eighth in the world in the men's doubles.

They won the men's doubles title at the Indian Open in 2012, upsetting second seeds Sung Hyun Ko and Yeon Seong Yoo of South Korea in the final.

The win sent them to the 2012 Olympics, where they reached the quarter-finals.

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