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 Local Sports

Viking men fall to Hawai’i Pacific

WWU logo

Hawai'i Pacific closed out the game scoring the final 6 points to secure the 82-76 victory for its third consecutive win and improve to 3-2 on the season.

in Local Sports

Strong aerial attack lifts Seattle past Pittsburgh

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (15) celebrates after scoring on a 63-yard touchdown reception next to wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Carolina Panthers in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015.

Jermaine Kearse caught two touchdowns, while Doug Baldwin caught three, including an 80-yard catch-and-run score with 2:01 left after Pittsburgh had trimmed Seattle's lead to 32-30.

in Local Sports

Jimmy Graham suffers patellar tendon injury in win over Pittsburgh


Graham was hurt with 13:36 left in the fourth quarter after trying to grab a deep pass in the end zone from Russell Wilson.

in Sports

Kobe Bryant says he will retire at end of 2015-16 season

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant, left, talks with head coach Byron Scott, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in San Antonio. Los Angeles won 112-110.

The 37-year-old Bryant made the announcement in a post on The Players' Tribune on Sunday

in Sports

Heat check: College coaching carousel turns into roller coaster

LSU head coach Les Miles watches from the sideline in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Florida in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. LSU won 17-6.

This coaching carousel is more like a roller coaster and this weekend there was enough action to make those trying to keep up dizzy.