SEOUL: South Korea said on Tuesday (Feb 8) it plans to lodge a protest with the global top court for sport and an Olympics body over the disqualification of two short track speed skaters which triggered public furore at home.
Hwang Dae-heon and Lee June-seo were disqualified from the men's 1,000m semi-finals at the Beijing Winter Olympics on late Monday, for an "illegal late pass" and a lane change, respectively, both causing contact with another skater.
Many South Koreans questioned the decisions, especially as Hwang, the world No 2 in the event who won two of the four World Cup legs this season and set a new Olympic record on Saturday, had crossed the line first.
The Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) said it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the International Olympic Committee over what it called an unfair decision.
"We will explore all available ways and means to ensure that such an unfair judgment will not be made again," Yoon Hong-geun, president of the Korea Skating Union, told a televised news conference in Beijing.
The incident has fuelled angry comment on social media that the referees had penalised South Koreans to boost China's chances of winning medals on home ice.
After Hwang and Lee were knocked out, Chinese skaters advanced to the final and eventually secured a gold and a silver.
"We've been receiving requests from sport officials and ordinary citizens to pull out of the Olympics altogether and bring the athletes home," Yoon said.
"But we're not in that stage yet, as there are more races left for us to compete, I think the best way to go is to take all measures we can so that the athletes will do as best as they can."