News

South Korea files complaint over Sochi ice skating judges

South Korea files complaint over Sochi ice skating judges

THIN ICE: The KOC and the Korea Skating Union (KSU) said in statement that they will demand a thorough investigation into the composition of the judging panel. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – The South Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) will file an official complaint to the International Skating Union about the figure skating judging panel used at the Sochi Games which deemed Kim Yuna’s routine only worthy of a silver medal.

Kim had arrived in Russia for the February Games as the hot favorite to successfully defend the title, but despite completing a faultless final routine she was left with only a silver as home favorite Adelina Sotnikova took a shock gold.

The Russian teenager was the only one of the leading trio whose free program contained an obvious mistake – a two-footed landing from a double loop – but as far as the nine-member judging panel were concerned, she was superior to the more graceful Kim.

Despite the error, Sotnikova improved on her own personal best by more than 18 points and her mark of 149.95 was just 0.11 of a point shy of Kim’s world record free skate score of 150.06 – which the South Korean earned for a blinding performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Defenders of Sotnikova pointed out that the Russian teenager performed one more triple than Kim.

The KOC and the Korea Skating Union (KSU) said in statement that they will demand a thorough investigation into the composition of the judging panel.

“We had to be very careful since an appeal or a complaint could strain relationships with international judges and bring disadvantages to our players in international games,” a KOC official said.

“However, we decided to file complaints to the disciplinary committee, considering what is the best for our nation (people) although some issues are expected.”

The result drew derision from outside of Russia, who celebrated their first victory in the women’s event, with more than 1.5 million people signing an online petition demanding an inquiry into Kim’s defeat.

One judge was identified as having served a one-year suspension for trying to fix an event at the 1998 Olympics, while another, Alla Shekhovtseva – the wife of the general director of the Russian figure skating federation – was caught on camera hugging Sotnikova moments after the win.

(Additional reporting by Sohee Kim; Writing by Patrick Johnston, editing by Ed Osmond)

Recent Headlines

32 mins ago in Music

Paul McCartney and Skype make tech history

Fresh
paulmccartney

Paul McCartney is embracing modern technology by teaming up with Skype to launch the first ever audio emojis in time for Valentine's Day.

1 hour ago in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Russian egg roulette with Peyton Manning & Magic Johnson

Fresh
16-overlay-12

It's the Super Bowl 50 champ versus the NBA legend.

18 hours ago in Viral Videos

Who’s your daddy?

16-overlay-10

When you're a baby and your dad is a twin, life can be confusing.

21 hours ago in Viral Videos

WATCH: Oh mother …

23-overlay-3

Is it the worst "Family Feud" answer ever? Judge for yourself.

1 day ago in Viral Videos

Will Ferrell wants to be the new animal expert on ‘The Late Show’

Updated
15-overlay-7

Stephen Colbert's "The Late Show" doesn’t have an animal expert yet, so why shouldn’t it be Will Ferrell?