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Olympics: S. Korea attacks 'biased' judging at Games

Published on Aug 14, 2012 8:04 PM
South Korea's Shin A Lam sits on the field at the end of her Women's Epee semifinal bout against Germany's Britta Heidemann as part of the fencing event of London 2012 Olympic games, on July 30, 2012 at the ExCel centre in London. The match was interrupted after Shin's coach claimed that the winning hit she conceded was performed out of the regular time but Heidemann's victory was validated eventually. -- PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea's sports minister on Tuesday took a swipe at the London Olympics over alleged cases of biased refereeing, vowing to step up Seoul's influence with international sports organisations.

Mr Choe Kwang Shik made the remarks in a speech at a disbandment ceremony for the South Korean delegation, whose last batch of 55 athletes returned home on Tuesday.

South Korea finished fifth in the medal standings at the London Olympics with 13 golds, equalling its record for the most at a Games.

"I express heartfelt gratitude to the athletes who did their best and overcame all difficulties despite unfair refereeing," Mr Choe said at the ceremony held at Incheon airport and broadcast live on TV.

"The government will make strong efforts in order to expand influence in international sports," he said.

Seoul will soon start working on "measures aimed to strengthen its position as the world's fifth largest sports powerhouse", he added, giving no details.

South Korean news media made a fuss about what they claimed were cases of biased judging that allegedly happened in women's epee semi-final, men's 66kg judo quarter-final and men's 400m freestyle swimming heat.

Mr Park Yong Sung, president of the Korean Olympic Committee, told journalists that the incidents made him keenly feel the "lack of (amiable) relations" between international sports committees and the South Korean sports committees.