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Event starts out already with controversies and accusations after China wins its first gold medal in a very chaotic process.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/sports/olympics/china-wins-speedskating-relay-gold.html

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With a flash of a skate, China won its first medal of the Beijing Winter Olympics on Saturday, which was also the first gold medal in a new Olympic event: the short-track speedskating mixed-gender team relay.

Wu Dajing struck his right skate across the finish line two-hundredths of a second ahead of a lunging Pietro Sighel from Italy as several hundred Chinese spectators cheered wildly, ignoring an edict not to cheer to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

“I feel that I’ve waited for this Olympic gold medal for too long,” Fan Kexin, a member of the Chinese team whose previous quests for a gold ended in disappointment, told journalists after the win.

 
 

“I don’t care about what I’ve been through in the past — the pain, the injuries. When you’re standing on that competition field, at that moment, there are no excuses, and you go all out,” she said. “In the coming events, we won’t give up for one moment, not for one second. We’ll continue going for it.”

The road to gold was not easy for the Chinese. They initially finished in last place in the semifinals and did not qualify to advance. But after officials conferred and reviewed replays of the race for several minutes, both the United States, which had finished second in the semifinal, and Russia, which finished third, were disqualified.

“We skated flawlessly,” the American skater Ryan Pivirotto said with disappointment, before explaining that the violation was called on him. An official from the International Skating Union said that Pivirotto had illegally crossed from the infield onto the raceway while preparing to tag in, blocking a Chinese skater.

With the disqualifications, the Chinese advanced to the finals, and they did not waste their second chance.

Canada appeared to have finished third in the finals but was disqualified for causing a collision, allowing Hungary to take the bronze.

The mixed team relay involves four skaters from each nation, two men and two women, racing 2,000 meters over 18 laps. Only one athlete from each country is on the ice at a time, skating a few laps before physically pushing a teammate to initiate the exchange.

Even before China’s victory was official, its news media was reporting that the country had won its first gold medal for these Games. Excitement quickly spread across Chinese social media, drawing elated comments.

“Congratulations, Team China! You’re the best!” said The Global Times, a popular nationalist newspaper.

With the gold medal, China has already matched its haul of first-place finishes from the 2018 Winter Olympics. Short-track speedskating has been its best winter sport in recent years, accounting for three of the country’s nine medals in 2018 and six of its nine medals in 2014.

“This event really helped work off some anger,” said Wu, the member of the victorious Chinese team. “We’ve gone through so much in the past four years, and then the dream came true on the first day.”

All the members of the Chinese team come from Heilongjiang, the northeast province near Russia and Korea that endures freezing winters.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20220207002200315

(Olympics) S. Korean short tracker cries foul over biased officiating in favor of China

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By Yoo Jee-ho

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- As disappointed as he was that his team crashed out early in the mixed team relay in short track speed skating in Beijing over the weekend, South Korean short tracker Kwak Yoon-gy seemed even more upset that China won gold thanks to what he claimed was biased judging.

In a scrum with South Korean reporters Sunday, a day after China won the inaugural Olympic gold in the mixed relay on home ice, Kwak said it was difficult to describe the mixed bag of feelings he had about China's path to the title.

By Yoo Jee-ho

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- As disappointed as he was that his team crashed out early in the mixed team relay in short track speed skating in Beijing over the weekend, South Korean short tracker Kwak Yoon-gy seemed even more upset that China won gold thanks to what he claimed was biased judging.

In a scrum with South Korean reporters Sunday, a day after China won the inaugural Olympic gold in the mixed relay on home ice, Kwak said it was difficult to describe the mixed bag of feelings he had about China's path to the title.

 

South Korean Olympic short track speed skaters train at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing on Feb. 6, 2022. (Yonhap)

 
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"Looking at the way China won the gold medal, I felt bad that my younger teammates had to watch something like that," Kwak, 32, said. "I thought to myself, 'Is this really what winning a gold medal is all about?' Things all just felt very hallow."

Kwak was referring to China's progress from its semifinal heat. Hungary finished first, closely followed by the United States. China came in third. The top two teams from the two semifinal heats would reach Final A, where the medals would be won, while the rest would end up in Final B. If the results had stood, China, whose head coach is former South Korea boss Kim Sun-tae, wouldn't have had a chance to go for a medal.

After a lengthy video review, the race judge ruled that the U.S. had committed an infraction, allowing China to reach the final instead. An American skater was penalized for crossing the blue line and entering the race early -- in an oft-chaotic short track relay race, skaters compete on the other side of the line and those not currently in the race circle the middle of the track as they mirror their teammates before the exchange. And that action was ruled to have impeded China's exchange.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) also got disqualified for having a skater get in between two Chinese skaters during an exchange. It caused Ren Ziwei and Zhang Yuting of China to miss their tap, but China was allowed to move on.

"I was watching that race unfold. I figured China, ROC and the U.S. would get penalized," said Kwak, who didn't compete for South Korea in the new relay event. "The Dutch skaters who were watching it with me said the same thing. But as the review dragged on, I figured China was going to be allowed to progress. And when the call was finally made, I found it difficult to accept it."

Kwak, who is competing in his third and final Olympics in Beijing, said he had never seen a case where a relay team was let off the hook after missing an exchange entirely.

"If it had been any other country than China in that situation, I wondered if that team would still have been allowed to reach the final like that," Kwak added.

It's worth noting that South Korea didn't get directly involved in any judging-related controversy with China on Saturday. It's fair to wonder, then, why Kwak was so worked up about the situation.

"I felt that could have been us at the wrong end of all this," Kwak said. "I thought about how upsetting and frustrating it would have been if we'd been a part of that"

In the days leading up to the Olympics, Kwak had predicted that China would keep getting favorable calls as the host country. Kwak said he'd also received some hate messages from angry Chinese people on his social media for suggesting that skaters from other countries would be disqualified for brushing past their Chinese counterparts.

Kwak decided to go public with those messages earlier this week, when he posted a screenshot of some messages on his Instagram story.

"I am desensitized by things like this because I've seen these kinds of messages before, but I didn't want some of the younger guys on the team to feel hurt later on," Kwak said. "I wanted to let our fans know what we're going through and ask them for their support."

 

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Surprised nobody’s given a shout out to Ireen Wust becoming the first ever athlete to win gold at five consecutive games!!! Huuuuge achievement!

My early prediction is it’s going to be toss-up between her and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Russia’s Kamila Valieva for star of the games. 

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Surely not...Fencing 1976 would never allow such things to happen at his sacred Olympics.

Also, it surely is a coincidence that today's Short Track men's event ended up with 3 Chinese in the top 4 (well, four, the other one now competes for Hungary) after a few disqualifications by Koreans in the semi finals.

Or the flawless 5x 20.0 from the ski jumping judges for that Chinese jumper today. He was simply perfect after just three years of practicing his sport.

Now seriously, things like that happen at many Olympics (South Korean boxers in 1988 couldn't complain either, just to give an example). But some of these things seem so obvious - though after all, China seems to be getting away with anything these days, even far worse things.

 

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Sochi is going to look tame in comparison and since they have the money and influence they won't get punished like Russia was. I won't be surprised if they make it to the top 5.

This is the future the IOC choosed when they acted like cunts with Oslo.

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