South Korean women’s team disqualification in 3,000-meters short-track speed skating relay will be controversial

Our Canadian women’s short-track speed skating relay team won the silver, but this silver will not be completely sweet because we’re not sure if we deserved it.  The four-time champion South Korean women were celebrating their win but their joy quickly turned sour.  They were disqualified for blocking the Chinese skater, which did not appear absolutely certain to me, but what do I know?  As a result of Korea’s disqualification, China won the gold, Canada, the silver, and the U.S.A., the bronze.

Despite the win, I fear our three medals to be awarded might not be completely fair and square .  China’s win will be very controversial because the South Korean team came in first by a huge margin and even set a  new world record.   I also notice Canada’s CTV network was not celebrating our win of the silver medal. Rightly so.  Neither should China nor the U.S. be celebrating too quickly.

Personally, I think the South Korean women should have won the gold. After looking at the replay, I have my doubts about the judge’s call on this. It didn’t look like the Chinese skater was going to pass the Korean skater.  It just appeared that she just got in the way because they were in the same proximity.  This bump up and down in the medal wins will be controversial and the judge will have to live down his mistake.

Sven Kramer’s disqualification was fair but this one today will be questionable.  Judging is not always fair or accurate. Canada’s figure skating experienced this injustice in Turin 2008 and it caused a big change in how points are awarded in figure skating today.

The nation of South Korean will be furious about the judge’s call on this one.  I feel for the South Korean women today. They truly skated super one today breaking a world record.    May God give you comfort to go through this and the justice to receive what you deserve.

Advertisements

Author: Kevin S.

A follower of Jesus, a husband and a father. Hobbies include biking, keeping fish if they don't die on me, blogging when I can, theologizing and ministry, and pondering about world affairs.

64 thoughts on “South Korean women’s team disqualification in 3,000-meters short-track speed skating relay will be controversial”

  1. well said. Definitely not enough evidence there to disqualify the korean skaters. They deserve the Gold and the recognition for breaking the world record.

    Like

  2. I also believe the disqualification was unfair. I don’t know the procedures of the Olympics but can this decision be overturned?

    I also would like to mention that this same referee, James Hewish, also disqualifed another Korean player back in Salt Lake City which was also a very controversial decision.

    Like

  3. The south korean skater definately pushed off the chinese skater during the turn. It was so obvious, her right arm went back, contacted the chinese skater’s body, but then she went back and pushed. In my opinion, this was the right call. It is unfortunate because of 1 person’s mistake the race was decided. It was an exciting race up until then though

    Like

    1. but if the south korean skater really did push the chinese skater, then the chinese skater’s torso should head upwards, not DOWNWARDs. simple.

      Like

  4. Hi. Do you mind if I pass this article of yours to my friends by posting it on my FB? I’ll make sure to put in the link to your blog as well your name. Let me know. Thanks.

    Like

  5. The thing is though, the contact they made this time actually affected other racers and it was very evident as the above poster mentioned and replays show.

    It was unfortunate, but impeding is still impeding.
    The call would have probably been missed if the Chinese person who was hit was noticeably affected.

    Like

    1. If it is impeding, then I say half the skaters are impeding.
      The Chinese skater was coming in from behind. Do you expect the Korean skater to have an eye behind her head too ?…

      Like

  6. The referees made the right call. If you look at the video again, the S Korean skater pushed the Chinese skater using both her hand and skate, making the Chinese skater almost fell down and had to slow down to recover. The referees said the skates actually made contact; they might have better video for that. Forcing the other skater slow-down is definitely a disqualifying action.

    Like

    1. The angle at which the viedo was taken caused you to misunderstand. You can find and should’ve seen another video from better angle, which will tell you the truth that there was no pushing by the Korean skater. The blade-clash, which actually caused impeding, was iniciated by the Chinese skater. Many sports TV commentators also said the judgment was wrong.

      Like

  7. This really surprised me too. We’ve all seen the replays, and there was some contact. Enough to overturn a gold medal result? If I was Korean, I would be completely losing my shit over this.

    Like

  8. Koreans are really upset about this decision.

    I disagree that the Korean skater pushed the Chinese skater because it looks like the problem was caused by the skates coming in contact.

    Like

  9. chinese girl seemed like she was pushed and skates collided in the natural skating motion of the Korean.

    Example if i am jogging and someone runs only 30cm behind me, then of course he’s going to get some elbowing off me.

    The chinese girl even gave way to let the korean pass on the inside. i think she was playing for the DQ. the assistant on that side the rink was chinese. Hewish obviosuly don’t like chinese.

    well hopefully, with Korean Long Track doing really well and Kim Yuna, Korean skating federations’s got to do some lobbying and get Hewish to retire.

    Like

  10. Kevin, you mentioned Korea’s lead was by a big margin, but you forgot to mention Chinese team had lost the balance which resulted the big gap. If the contact never had occurred than I believe the game could be very close between Korea and China, and both teams had the possibility to set a new record.

    Like

  11. At least give Korea the silver. Canada and DEFINITELY the USA isn’t even in the same league as China and Korea in women’s relay The US does not deserve a medal at all. They were LAPPED that’s how bad they are.

    Like

  12. This alleged push people are going off about doesn’t make much sense to me. Of course there is going to be contact in speed skating when much of the movement is generated through the swinging of the arms. It was a bad decision as the Korean skater had the right of the way as she was ahead of the Chinese skater. The Chinese skater rather than back off a bit decided to get as close as possible to her like a stalker. The key to the issue is that the skate blades collided through the natural motion of skating. The ironic thing to this whole issue is that its the same official, Jim Hewish, that DQed another Korean skater for another “impeding” call on Apollo Ohno… another heated debate. One thing is for sure though, Korea is not going to let this one go seeing that its the same official with a similar call.

    Like

    1. Allen, as another commenter mentioned, Judge Jim Hewish made a misjudgement at the Salt Lake games. His decision needs to be reviewed by the Speedskating authorites. As a Canadian, I’m not holding out on Canada’s silver to be a certain win.

      Like

  13. well controversial call or not. result has been set. best way to deal with this, for Korea, is to congratulate the winner and turn the emotion into a fuel for next competition. If anything, it is not fair to say one or other country did not deserve the medal, they did deserve the medal, hence they did not create any controversial bumping, which leads to controversial call.

    Like

  14. I can’t believe some people here saying South Korean skater had pushed Chinese skater.. Hey, the Chinese skater told media that she is not so sure what happened.. How somebody could push somebody that is behind them? Then WHY Chinese skater upper body was not showing any movement upward? This MF got to be disqualified!!!

    Jason from Virginia, USA

    Like

  15. here is a video link:

    and the following is my interpretation:

    at 0:14 it looks like Korean had bumped into Chinese. but at 0:23 it looks like Chinese stepped on Korean’s skate. i think when the referee was looking at replay, he was only looking at the camera angle at 0:14… which convinced him that Korea bumped into Chinese.

    Like

    1. dar, thanks for the link. It’s been removed from YouTube. That’s a really good point. From what I saw at the angle I saw it from, there was no contact except for the Chinese skater stepping on the Korean skaters blade. If anything, the Chinese skater could have been called for interference.

      Like

    2. they took the video down. says “this video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by the international olympic committee.” the olympic committee probably realized hewish made a bad call and dont want people watching replays showing hewish’s mistake.

      there needs to an appeals process. how can they let this one d-bag have the final say on something so clearly subjective?!

      Like

  16. She may have slightly touched the Chinese skater because she was in front of her, but definitely she was not pushed. If judge was not so sure about making a decision, he should not flip the results. Who the hell are you think you are? Mr. Judge? What were you guys talking about when you guys were caught on TV? We want to know man!!! Who is going to compensate for 4 years of preparation?

    Like

  17. The call is so unfortunate.

    Check this video.

    The reporter says, “It looks like the Chinese team got in the way of the Korean team, and caused themselves to fall out.”

    One thing that the NFL has right. A call that is challenged will be overturned if the referee sees overwhelming and clear evidence that the wrong call was made otherwise the ruling on the field stands. And I can’t agree more about the “clear evidence” part.

    To me, what happened during the bump is not so overwhelmingly clear. Even the reporter thinks that the Chinese were at fault. A DSQ is a big punishment to hand out for something that is questionable.

    I think Jim Hewish is just bitter about all the abuse and heat he got from Korean fans as a result of what happened in Salt Lake City, and found a way to stage a revenge. No point in making additional fuss. IOC is not going to do a thing.

    Like

  18. I don’t know what people are referring to when they claim there was “pushing.” There was no debate about a bump besides the skates touching. Though anything looked probable when the Chinese skater slowed down, the announcers immediately concluded that there was no “body contact” after analyzing several angles of slow-motion replays.

    The real question is: if the Korean skater was ahead during the moment of impact, is the leader “impeding” for not considering the position of the opponent beyond her periphery? C’mon, the Korean skater was at least in the advantage lane. If, at the very least, both skaters were going head-to-head, meaning virtually beside each other, is a skater considered “impeding” if she unintentionally bumps the skate of an opponent crossing into her lane?

    This is the opinion of a US citizen who rooted for the Americans. I saw this happen before and it really pisses me off how subjective it is most of the time. There are so much real bumping and pushing that goes ignored and they always choose an event like this to flip a decision that could have at least gone either way. That’s why I love the Olympics but hate the politics of it.

    Like

    1. JP, the Chinese skater did slow down to avoid bodily contact. From the camera angle I watched from, the Korean skater never touched the Chinese skater. I think the judge needs to see it from different angles.

      His misjudgement not only cost the Korean women the gold medal, but like another commenter mentioned, it’s costing them 4 years of hard work down the drain. I’m with you on the subjectivity of judges. I think judges need to be held more accountable and accessible, and allow for misjudgements to be overturned.

      Like

  19. Someone, Please take note of a prejudiced or a misinterpretation of this tournament. I feel good for the Canadian team grabbing Silver in 3000m round, but Korean team was robbed of their gold medal. How can it be a disqualification? I’m going to explain this logically. To recap the race exactly, as the next -in-line Korean player got pushed from the previous player, she went into the inner first already. Then the Chinese player tried to catch up into the inner lane as well. During the process, the chinese player was right behind the Korean player – they were too close at this point. The chinese player was even threatening as she was too close behind the kroean player. Then the skates of the korean player clashed with the Chinese player’s skates, meaning that the korean player didn’t intentionally push or injure or interfere the chinese player, but rather the Chinese player clashed to the korean player from behind. While the the skated collided and being too close to the Korean player, the Chinese player lost balance and her face touched the arm of the Korean player. But, here is a hughe misjudgement. Travelling in the same direction at that speed, The korean player would have to have been really strong to have pushed off of the chinese player. Also, if that were true, The chinese player’s upper body would have jerked upwards and back.. Not downwards and in.. She lost her balance thus making her upper body cave down and inwards.I don’t know if the judge, who raised the issue and disqualified the Korean team, thought the Korean player pushed the chinese player and interfered, but in clarity, the fault is on the chinese player actually, not the Korean player. The Koreans don’t have power to make a case and overrule this unfair judgement. But I know last time, the Canadian figure skating pair reclaimed their gold after making their case.

    Like

  20. Jen, I would agree with you that it almost seemed like it could have been the Chinese skater who interfered. If that was true, why do you say that “the Koreans don’t have the power to make a case and overrule this unfair judgement”?

    Like

  21. This is why I hate the Olympics. Countries with more power always win. S. Korea will not get their medals because they don’t have enough leverage and this judge is clearly out for revenge. The Olympics should be about each athletes abilities and not what country they reside.

    Like

  22. I am wondering why IOC still keeps this kind of an unqialified judge. Can we make IOC kick off this judge from all kinds of events? To do that, what should we do?

    Like

  23. Let me put this a bit different way.. do you disqualify someone finishing in first place in the marathon even though his rival was in 2nd place got bumped into him and lost balance and came in 3rd?

    Whoever is in 2nd place, they should not touch the leader and try to look a different way to be ahead of them. That’s what this Korean skaters did before passing ahead Chinese team..

    Anyways, congrats to Chinese team…

    Like

  24. You guys missed the point by looking at the body contact time, IT WAS THE MOMENT BEFORE THAT!

    ” The South Koreans were disqualified for contact that occurred after Lee Eun- Byul pushed teammate Kim Min-Jung in front of a Chinese skater with five laps remaining in the 27-lap race.

    Athletes are allowed to push their teammates in the short track relay. Instead of passing a baton like in track and field, skaters queue up inside the track and slip in front of their teammates, receiving a push in the transition.

    But Kim aggressively moved inside Sun Linlin, taking the lead and causing the Chinese skater to nearly lose her balance. The official reason for the disqualification was “impeding.”

    After battling neck-and-neck with the Chinese for most of the race, the incident moved the Koreans comfortably in front.”

    Like

  25. More explanation:

    “It was a rarely seen pass. Skaters usually pass before the curve because there is much space to avoid physical contact. Kim Min-jung passed Sun Linlin nearly at the tip of the curve from the inner lap. It was the last resort of South Korea as they were desperate for the gold (only four laps left of the 27-lap race). It reminded me of the Turino Games four years ago when China was disqualified in this discipline because of Wang Meng’s fault. She tried to pass at the same position.”

    Like

  26. Everyone should review the tape again to make their own judgment rather than following a biased article.
    It is clear the korean racer made her opponent suddenly slow down and the skate colliding is impossible to cause that speed change.
    By the way, the korean skate team has shown its “pushing skills” several times in this Olympic game without being DQ. They should learn a lesson this time.
    Is the writer a Korean? The writer should spend some time to explain why the Korean team is so pushing and unprincipled, instead of crying for a deserved outcome.

    Like

  27. I think somethis is unfair in the DQ of Korean team. If this was a fair call, why so many people are trying to say something with their opinions. I did not see any comments for Sven’ DQ. People said that is so sad but nobody said it is unfair. We want to see that kind of DQ not so controversal like short trac DQs and from the same judge .

    Like

  28. This one is very funny:

    “Koreans…
    First you push your own teammate down trying to pass them illegally in Men’s short track.
    Then you shamelessly celebrate a Gold in the 10,000 meters which you clearly lost to a Dutch speed skater who set a new Olympic record but made a lane violation because of his own coach. A class move would’ve been to give him at least a nod, if not your gold medal. Yeah right. When was the last time you saw a Korean take care of someone who wasn’t Korean?
    Now you cry over your own team breaking the rules at yet another short track event. You are not the only country at the games. You are not the only country who has been disqualified in Short Track this Olympics. Among others, both USA and China have also had DQs.
    You are however, the only ones to continue whining about it. That’s so Korean. “

    Like

  29. I’m Sorry.. EZ?? Guessing you are Chinese. OBVIOUSLY. I’ve seen so many Koreans angry at the REF’s Decision. I have also seen immature koreans talking crap which totally embarrasses me as a korean myself… But YOU.. .. You.. People. Continue to bring in topics and points from other situations and sometimes even things that have nothing to do with Short Track AT ALL. I personally am happy that China won a Gold and don’t care about which country does better but I don’t think it was a fair ruling for the south koreans. You say that other countries have been disqualified. Yes but not in a situation like this. When Sven was disqualified we all knew EXACTLY WHY and HOW he got Disqualified. It was written everywhere and most people knew right away because of the commentators. In this case however.. No one knew why the koreans got disqualified. Even the commentators. They even said that the Chinese girl seemed to have impeded causing the collision of blades.

    Like

  30. OK, this youtube explains very well.
    But, don’t expect Koreans will accept the truth on that.

    The picture is very misleading, it only show way ahead or later the contact happened.
    People should see the slow video how Korea skater cut into Chinese skater’s track, actually there was enough space for her to avoid this happen, she intentionally impeded and it cause Chinese skater step on her. Besides this she also pushed, and the referee made a right and classic call.
    Here is the video, it is so easy to make you own judgment:

    Like

    1. now this is the angle i didn’t see. at least from this angle it seems the referee’s call of impeding is true. During 2010 winter Olympic I believe i had seen many occasions beside this one that Korea had made aggressive move to overtake a athletics and cut right in front of him, causing the athletics to slowdown to avoid contact.
      I do think Korea is a strong team, but at the same time their aggressive strategies is indeed a bit…. off the edge.

      Like

  31. The Korean was behind till about 5 feet from the turn marker. The Korean went wide to the outside, to force the Chinese to make a big curve, and then cut in the path of the opponent. The Korean was passing from the inner, and at the same time she was also forcing the opponent to go further out. That aggression making the cutting possible. DQ was a great call.

    Like

  32. It is so funny. How this Canadian forgot what they did some years back. They wined in the pair skating in 2002 or some years and got the gold. It is really funny that the Canadian said only the Koreans are complaining. The truth is anyone who thinks he/she is treated unfaily, he/she wines.

    Like

  33. EZ, thanks for the link to the video clip. That shows the aggressiveness of the Korean skater. But I still have to say that when any skaters are going that fast and close to one another, it’s really hard to slow down. I’m not sure what I would do in that split-second situation myself.

    Like

  34. EZ has got a point. but not manner

    show your point and respect.

    Your ignorant comments only demotes your above average point. Rules are there to provide same and fair competition for all athletes. It is not fair to break a rule. Therefore, if you break a rule you will be fairly punished. All athletes in the Olympics deserves the respect. If the winner is DQed, the runner up deserves the gold. If the call was bad, point your finger to the refs, not the runner up athletes.

    Like

  35. From EZ’s video, the Korean staker’s right hand was not moving in a natural back-and-forth rhythm. It kept touching the Chinese skater. To me the
    “impeding” call, however controversial, is not baseless.

    Like

  36. EZ, Saw the clip but still strong on my opinion. I looked at it like 100 times. When they turn corners all athletes put their right arms out and left arms on or close to the ice. They stop swinging their arms back and forth at that point and continue on after. It only looks like she pushed her because of the unbelievable timing. Exactly when the chinese girl lost balance because of the skates colliding and her body bending inwards. You can’t push someone at that speed to make them jerk like that with one hand unless you are extremely strong.

    Like

  37. EZ. I think you don’t know about short-track speed skating. When skators turn coners, they STOP moving their right arms. Your video looks Korean skator pushed Chinese skator. But, it is not true. When Korean skator tried to stop moving her arm, Chinese skator slightly bumped against Korean skator’s right arm, but this is not the reason that she lost her balance, and the arm was shook by bumping. That means her arm was relaxed. We can see that she didn’t push Chinese skator on side view.
    But most of people think Korea skator pushed Chinese skator, because she lost her balance. However, the real reason she lost her balance is her skating rink collided with Korean skator’s skate as she(Chinese skator) took a step forward.
    Korean skator naver pushed Chinese skator.
    Referee clearly misjudged.
    But this decision will not reverse.

    Like

  38. pushing or not pushing, it wasn’t the matter that made referee made his decision on DQing Korean team.
    here is the quote from Vancouver Olympic website:
    “South Korea finished first in the final but they were disqualified after referees ruled that Kim Min-Jung blocked China’s Sun Linlin’s path following a handover with six laps to go.”

    referee did not judge on Korean team on pushing, but rather “impeding” is the key word here, not pushing.
    at least from EZ’s video, and as well from some other angles, it seems referee’s decision is true.

    Like

  39. After the Chinese and Korean skaters were both pushed off, they were both side-by-side. From my perspective, it seemed like the only thing the Korean skater could do was to keep skating on the inside going into the curve. Then as both skaters’ blades made contact, the Chinese skater then lost a little balance and it appeared that the Korean skater had impeded but I am still not convinced that she did.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s