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

in Sports

Stafford throws 5 TDs to lift Lions to 45-14 win over Eagles

A football

Matthew Stafford tied a career high with five touchdown passes

in Entertainment

‘Mortdecai,’ ‘American Ultra’ among the year’s biggest box office flops


The list of this year's most disappointing box office performers is out.

in Music

Unsolved: 6 rockers and rappers whose deaths remain a mystery


These six unsolved deaths bring the ugly underbelly of the music industry to the surface. We pair each artist with their swan song hit.

in Black Friday, Lifestyle

Three ways to curb holiday spending


Ah, the holidays. A time to get together, celebrate with family and make questionable life choices.

in Sports

Selden, Kansas beat Vanderbilt for Maui title


Wayne Selden Jr. scored 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting,and No. 5 Kansas won the Maui Jim Maui Invitational with a 70-63 victory over No. 19 Vanderbilt on Wednesday night.

Bellingham Traffic