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Figure Skating Scandal All Over Again?


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I'm certainly not an expert in Taekwondo, but it seems that the scores the judges gave were horrible. There's something very wrong when coaches from other nations are even backing up the Canadian coach on his appeal.

The Taekwondo match between Ivett Gonda of Canada and Hanna Zajc of Sweden, never before have I seen have a more unfairly judged event. I am not a Taekwondo fan, nor have I ever witnessed a match prior to this one. Therefore, I am really not aware of the nuances of the sport and the minor details around judging. However, listening to the commentator talking, it became clear to me that you earn one point for a hit to the chest (the whole blue section or a very specific part?), and two points for a hit to the head, including the neck. I am not sure if anything was mentioned about a knockdown, but I assume that this is, or at least should be, worth points.

In the match, Ivett was clearly the aggressor and the one initiating most, if not all of the real attacks. She also scored a number of chest shots, some of which may have been blocked, and at least one headshot for sure, maybe two. If even ONE of those chest shots, and ONE of the headshots were scored, she would have been the winner. More than that, she actually knocked Hanna down once. She was indeed the clear winner.

I don't know how common these types of unfair judging incidents in Taekwondo occur, but I have heard that it does happen....same goes with boxing. If there were judging flaws with figure skating, why couldn't there be judging flaws with other sports as well - including taekwondo?

All I can say is this was definitely unfair, and the whole appeal process is exactly how the figure skating scandal of 2002 started.

Judging questioned after Canada's Gonda loses first taekwondo match

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | 1:40 AM ET

CBC Sports

Canada's Ivett Gonda lost her first taekwondo match 2-0 to Hanna Zajc of Sweden on Wednesday at the 2008 Olympic Games, but the judging is being questioned.

Competing in the under-49 kilogram class, Zajc took the lead in the first round when she scored a point against Gonda on a defensive kick. Her second point came when she scored on an offensive kick in the third round.

Gonda, 20, and her coach, Shin Wook Lim, are suggesting there was unfair judging in the match, saying the Canadian didn't receive the points she earned.

Lim suggested the Chinese judge Lei Zhao may have not been giving Gonda the points she deserved because she would have faced a Chinese athlete in the next round. Gonda is considered a medal contender in this weight class.

"I can't say for sure, but she made a point but [didn't receive] a point," Lim said. "Must be the machine's broken, I don't know. Other coaches were surprised. It's not only coming from me emotionally."

Lim and Gonda launched a protest, hoping for a re-match before the start of the afternoon matches on Wednesday. If the protest is successful, the judge could be punished if there was any wrongdoing.

"I felt really good," said Gonda. "I was doing exactly what my coach told me. I was kicking the points, I don't know why the points weren't going up. I think I made it pretty obvious."

There are four judges in taekwondo who stand at each corner of the mat. Points are given for kicks to the chest and head, and three out of the four judges have to agree that a kick has been landed for a point to be awarded.

Lim said he believed Gonda earned as many as seven or eight points.

"I was really surprised they weren't giving her points," he said. "I was waiting but the referee totally ignored me. Usually they stop the match and the judgest talk about it. But they completely ignored me."

This is deja-vu for Gonda, who at the 2004 Olympic games lost in the semifinal to the eventual gold medallist, though officials with the Canadian team believe she should have won the semi.

Gonda's Beijing Olympic Games are over unless Zajc makes the final, in which case the Canadian would be pulled back into the repechage and will have a shot at a bronze medal.

Gonda, who was born in Hungary and lives in Port Moody, B.C., won gold at the 2006 Korea Open, came fifth at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and took gold at the 2004 Pan American Games.

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It is interesting to note that there was a similar controversy over judging involving a Swedish athlete earlier in the games.

Ara Abrahamian, representing Sweden, threw his Bronze medal down in protest for what he felt was poor judging during a Wrestling match. The IOC eventually kicked him out anyway for his poor display of sportsmanship.

Could it be, I wonder, that the judges in the Taekwondo match were conscientiously or sub-conscientiously showing a bias in favour of Sweden so as to avoid possible criticism?

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It is interesting to note that there was a similar controversy over judging involving a Swedish athlete earlier in the games.

Ara Abrahamian, representing Sweden, threw his Bronze medal down in protest for what he felt was poor judging during a Wrestling match. The IOC eventually kicked him out anyway for his poor display of sportsmanship.

Could it be, I wonder, that the judges in the Taekwondo match were conscientiously or sub-conscientiously showing a bias in favour of Sweden so as to avoid possible criticism?

Its not just a mater of a really bad call that cost a competitor the match. Its a mater of one competitor having NO call going for her way while the other competitor got ALL the calls going her way. In the span of about 2 seconds, Gonda kicked Zajc to the head and Zajc kicked Gonda to the chest as a defensives manover. Normally, Gonda should have gotten 2 and Zajc one. Zajc got her point, but not Gonda. That basically exemplify the entire match.

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UNFORTUNATELY, Taekwondo (Boxing, etc., all the combat 'sports') have all the appeal of a Komodo dragon vs. the beauty and romance of Figure Skating.

If Nastia Lukin lost the tied score in Gymnastics, no one is really going to look at a "C" sport like Taekwondo. Lindsy Lohan throwing up again would probably garner more headlines than this.

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The Taekwondo match between Ivett Gonda of Canada and Hanna Zajc of Sweden, never before have I seen have a more unfairly judged event. I am not a Taekwondo fan, nor have I ever witnessed a match prior to this one.

good to see an expert opinion weigh in on such a sensitive issue.

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good to see an expert opinion weigh in on such a sensitive issue.

Believe me, you didn't need an expert to see the judging was... Well, lets say interesting.

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