Winter Olympics: Korea to appeal to CAS over short track speed skating 'injustice'

South Korea's Hwang Dae-heon (left) and China's Ren Ziwei compete in a semi-final heat on Feb 7, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
(From left) Hungary's Shaolin Sandor Liu, South Korea's Lee June-seo and Hungary's Shaoang Liu compete in a semi-final heat on Feb 7, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea will appeal to CAS over "unfair" officiating in short track speed skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics, the country's sports body said Tuesday (Feb 8), after two medal hopes were disqualified.

In Monday's men's 1,000m semi-finals, South Korea's Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo were disqualified for illegal late passing and lane-changing respectively, after coming in first and second in their heats.

The decisions allowed two Chinese skaters to advance to the final, with the host country collecting gold and silver medals.

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) said that it would file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the top international sports tribunal, "to formalise the injustice of this decision".

"We plan to do our best to prevent injustice from happening to our athletes in the international ice skating and sporting communities," KSOC said in a statement.

The penalties enraged South Koreans, with many claiming the refereeing was biased.

One online user called the officiating "horrible", adding: "It's only making decisions that are extremely in favour of China."

South Korea lodged a protest with the International Skating Union over Hwang's fate, but that was rejected as disqualification for rule violations cannot be challenged.

Hungary also filed a protest after Liu Shaolin Sandor received a yellow card for two penalties in the 1,000m final, but it was also rejected.

Coach of the South Korean short track team Ahn Joong-hyun (right) complains to a judge about 'unfair' decisions that penalised his players. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

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