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REFILE IOC asks passionate Koreans to tone down short track anger

Europe, Europa
14.02.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - Olympic officials on Wednesday called on South Korean fans to cool down again after Canadian short track skater Kim Boutin became the target of their anger after the disqualification of original 500-metre silver medallist Choi Min Jeong.

Home favourite Choi placed behind Italian Arianna Fontana but was then disqualified by the race jury for interference, which gave Dutch Yara van Kerkhof silver and Boutin bronze.

The passionate fans let out their frustration on Boutin, who allegedly pushed Choi during the race, by flooding her Instagram account with messages, many of them reportedly abusive. More then 10,000 messages were recorded within a few hours before she turned the account private to protect it.

Short track is immensely popular in South Korea which is the leading nation in the sport with 22 gold medals, including one from Lim Hyo Jun in the 1,500m at the Pyeongchang Games.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams said the IOC cannot control social media and that the matter was largely one for the Canadian Olympic Committee to handle but he also called for restraint.

"We ask everyone to respect the athletes and support the Olympic spirit. I haven‘t seen the comments but unfortunately we have these issues we don‘t approve. Let‘s stick to supporting the athletes," Adams told reporters.

Organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik You cited "the Olympic spirit and sportsmanship" as he asked fans to calm down again.

It is not the first time that South Korean fans have vented their anger at other short track skaters at the Olympics. Four years ago in Sochi, Briton Elisa Christie received death threats from fans who believed she had caused one of their skaters to crash.

 

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