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S. Korea voices concerns about short track judging in meeting with int'l officials

Hwang Dae-heon of South Korea competes in the semifinals of the men`s 1,000m short track speed skating event at the Beijing Winter Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Feb. 7, 2022. (Yonhap)
Hwang Dae-heon of South Korea competes in the semifinals of the men`s 1,000m short track speed skating event at the Beijing Winter Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Feb. 7, 2022. (Yonhap)


BEIJING -- South Korean leaders at Beijing 2022 met virtually with senior international skating officials Wednesday to express their concerns about the state of refereeing in short track speed skating.

The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee said Lee Kee-heung, its president and a member of the International Olympic Committee, and Yoon Hong-geun, head of the athletic mission and of the Korea Skating Union, held a video conference behind closed doors with International Skating Union President Jan Dijkema. Hugo Hernhof, ISU event director for short track speed skating, was also part of the meeting.

The video conference took place two days after two South Korean short trackers, Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo, were disqualified from the men's 1,000m semifinals on what South Korea felt were questionable decisions.

The KSOC immediately protested the decision on Hwang, but the ISU promptly rejected it Tuesday, on the grounds that disqualification resulting from rules violations cannot be challenged. The KSOC said it will take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the top global sports tribunal.

According to the KSOC, Lee and Yoon stressed they felt the referee's decisions in Monday's races were biased against South Korean athletes. The two added they feared unfair and inaccurate officiating could damage the honor and integrity of the ISU and also have an adverse effect on trust between the South Korean delegation and the ISU.

The two also asked the ISU to ensure there will be no recurrence of similar situations and that they will keep a close eye on officiating in future races, starting with Wednesday night's action.

The ISU officials responded their position on the issue hasn't changed from Tuesday and that the organization is striving for fairness in officiating, according to the KSOC. (Yonhap)

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