US figure skater Mariah Bell accused of cutting South Korean rival Lim Eun-soo with her skate at world championships

Mariah Bell, 22, had collided into 16-year-old Lim Eun-soo during the warm-up session on Wednesday (March 20) before the women's short programme at the International Skating Union World Championships in Saitama.
Mariah Bell, 22, had collided into 16-year-old Lim Eun-soo during the warm-up session on Wednesday (March 20) before the women's short programme at the International Skating Union World Championships in Saitama.PHOTOS: REUTERS, LIM EUNSOO / INSTAGRAM

An American professional figure skater has been accused of striking her South Korean rival in the leg with her skate during the world championships in Japan.

Mariah Bell, 22, had collided into 16-year-old Lim Eun-soo during the warm-up session on Wednesday (March 20) before the women's short programme at the International Skating Union World Championships in Saitama.

Lim suffered a gash to her leg and she was treated for her injury immediately.

According to Lim's management agency All That Sports, Lim had been skating close to the edge of the rink "as much as possible so as to not interfere with other skaters".

But Bell, who was scheduled to rehearse after Lim, supposedly came from behind all of a sudden to kick Lim's left calf.

Lim left the warm-up session to receive emergency treatment as she was in severe pain. She returned to the ice to compete after getting her cut taped.

Her agency added: "It seems it was intentional, considering how Bell came from behind."

The agency also claimed that Bell had been bullying Lim for months in the lead up to the world championships.

The pair are both trained in Los Angeles under the same coach, Rafael Arutyunyan.

Despite her injury, Lim went on to set a personal high in her first senior world championships with 72.91 points to rank fifth.

Bell placed sixth with a score of 71.26 points, reported The Korea Herald.

All That Sports said that it has asked the Korea Skating Union to lodge a formal complaint on Lim's behalf, the report added.