Yu Yang, Wang Xiaoli, Jung Kyung-eun, 5 others expelled in Olympic badminton scandal: China responds

South Koreans, Indonesians appealing

LONDON (CNN) -- Wednesday saw scandal at the Olympics as eight athletes were disqualified for trying not to win matches, joy as the host nation finally won its first gold, and controversy as the chairman of the Games organizing committee declined to call Michael Phelps the greatest Olympian of all time.

The disqualifications came in badminton, after two matches Tuesday night in which female athletes were accused of playing to lose so they could face easier opponents in future matches.

Two Chinese pairs -- including the world No. 1 women's pair of Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang -- a South Korean duo and an Indonesian pair played so badly, they were booed by the crowd.

The Badminton World Federation disqualified all four pairs, but the South Koreans and Indonesians are appealing the decision.

The Chinese Olympic delegation said that it "fully respects" the decision to punish its two players and that it would carry out its own investigation.

Another pair of female athletes got happier results on Wednesday, as rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning brought Great Britain its first gold medal of the 2012 Games.

The British rowing men's eight took bronze, a crushing disappointment to a team that had expected gold.

Britain claimed another two medals soon after, with cyclist Bradley Wiggins taking gold and Chris Froome capturing bronze in the men's time trial.

The victory makes Wiggins the most decorated British Olympian, with seven medals, hot on the heels of his becoming the first British man to win the Tour de France.

Team GB carried on its medal-winning streak in the pool, with swimmer Michael Jamieson taking silver in the men's 200-meter breaststroke. Hungarian Daniel Gyurta set a world record to win gold.

In the men's artistic gymnastics individual final, Japan's Kohei Uchimura took the gold with an outstanding performance, while Team USA's Danell Leyva rallied to take bronze.

Swimmer Michael Phelps became not only the most decorated American on Tuesday but the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Many, including CNN partner Sports Illustrated, hailed Phelps on Wednesday as "Simply the Greatest."

But Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Olympic Games Organizing Committee, distinguished between "most medals" and "greatest."

"You can say by medal tally, he is the most successful, but I'm not sure if he's the greatest. But he's the most successful athlete; that goes without saying," said Coe, himself a multiple-gold-winning Olympic runner.

At the same time, Coe paid tribute to the crowds who have flocked to watch the events, saying they have created an "extraordinary atmosphere."

"I have now visited 16 sports, and I have been absolutely blown away by the noise, the vibrancy, just the humor and excitement there," he said, adding that Olympic Park was "buzzing."

Paul Deighton, chief executive of London 2012, said 3 million spectators had poured into Olympic venues over the past five days.

CNN's Zayn Nabbi and Laura Smith-Spark in London contributed to this report.

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