South Korea’s female speedskating team on Wednesday lost its team pursuit playoff race against Poland finishing in eighth place.
The result comes in the wake of a disputed race which triggered discussion on an apparent teamwork strife.
Korea's three-member team of Kim Bo-reum, Park Ji-woo and Noh Seon-yeong (Yonhap)
The three-member team of Kim Bo-reum, Park Ji-woo and Noh Seon-yeong clocked 3:07.30 in the event at Gangneung Oval in the eastern sub-host city of the 2018 Winter Games.
During the quarterfinal held on Monday, the team came under fire as Noh fell behind while the two others raced ahead, an odd scene for a game in which the final record is decided on the third skater’s finishing record.
Kim in particular came under fire for her interview which seemed to place the blame on Noh. Despite a tearful press conference and apology, the skater faced a public backlash as well as a petition asking for to be disqualified from the team.
During the conference, the team's coach claimed that it was a prearranged strategy to have Noh run behind, but Noh immediately denied it.
The Polish team faced similar disputes, after ending last among the eight participant countries on Monday and failing to move onto the semifinal.
By Bae Hyun-jung and news reports(firstname.lastname@example.org