[WORD_ON_THE_WEB] 'An utter disgrace for China'
The Beijing Olympics are the talk of the town, but not always for the right reasons. Controversy surrounding disputed refereeing decisions that knocked medal contenders Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo out of the men's 1,000-meter short track event on Monday has eclipsed any feel-good Olympics stories in Korea.
Hwang and Lee both finished their respective semifinals in qualifying positions, only to be disqualified on infractions that officials and fans alike feel were unjustly enforced. For Hwang, who holds both the Olympic and world record, the unceremonious exit had left an especially bitter taste. In both cases, the disqualification of the Korean athlete allowed a Chinese athlete to progress.
Korea Skating Union President Yoon Hong-geun told reporters on Tuesday that Korea plans to file a protest with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, while former national team coach Park Se-woo said the situation feels like "an insult to Korea."
Meanwhile, China took home both gold and silver medals in the event as Hungary’s Liu Shaolin, who was first to cross the line, was also disqualified.
“The worst country, the worst referees, the worst Olympics.”
“Judging by yesterday’s race, participating in other events is a waste of time. They should just withdraw altogether.”
“I knew there was going to be some unfair rulings, but this is unbelievable.”
“Please don’t make the athletes’ years of hard work go to waste because of unfair rulings. I want fair judgments. This is an utter disgrace for China. Where have they left their sportsmanship?”
“For the athletes… You worked hard for four years for this chance, so do participate in the Games. However, boycott the closing ceremony. That alone will be enough to show protest, and it will gather global attention.”
“I was so angry and aghast that I couldn’t even sleep. I imagine it was much worse for the athletes. I want the Olympics to be a fair and honorable global competition.”
BY LEE SI-YOUNG, YOO JI-WOO [email@example.com]