South Korea to appeal to CAS over Olympic short track 'injustice'

An angry South Korea said Tuesday that they will appeal to sport's top court over "unfair" officiating in short track speed skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics after two gold medal hopes were disqualified.

South Korea's Hwang Dae-heon (L) and China's Ren Ziwei compete in a semifinal heat of the men's 1000m short track speed skating event during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.   -  AFP

An angry South Korea said Tuesday that they will appeal to sport's top court over "unfair" officiating in short track speed skating at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics after two gold medal hopes were disqualified.

In Monday's men's 1,000-metre semifinals, world record holder Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo were disqualified for illegal late passing and lane-changing respectively, having coming 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.

The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) said it would file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) "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."

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: List of all medals won on Tuesday, February 8  

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.

In Beijing, the South Korean team called a press conference to express their outrage.

"I believe our athletes all played fairly and I believe they are the winners," said chef de mission Yoon Hong-geun, adding they had demanded a meeting with the International Olympic Committee.

"We hope that such things will never ever happen again in the future," added Yoon.

Speaking before the Korean press conference, International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said it was "a field of play issue" and there had been "no formal communication" with the Korean team.

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