A Taiwanese Taekwondo competitor, a favorite to win the gold, was disqualified after officials found sensors in her socks, leading to claims of conspiracy in Taiwan....BBC reports:
The sensors detect when competitors score points by landing kicks and punches on their opponent's body.Sensors had been introduced into the sport to make judging fairer. The match was taking place in Guangzhou, China. Other news articles give more details:
Additional sensors could make point-scoring easier.
Yang Shu-chun had been one of the favourites for the gold medal and says she is innocent. A Taiwan official said her disqualification was "unfair".
Taiwan's top sports body immediately voiced its concern over the ruling.
"The technical committee did not allow Taiwan's team a chance to explain before making the decision and we regret the unfair ruling," said the Sports Affairs Council.
Yang had an extra electronic sensor taped to each of her heels in an effort to score more points before her opening 49kg match against Vietnam's Vu Thi Hau, although each fighter can wear authorised socks with built-in sensors.The key point was here:
The WTF official, speaking on behalf of Asian Games taekwondo chiefs, said the Taiwan fighter passed a mandatory pre-match formal inspection of her gear.
But the extra sensors were discovered by a suspecting official right before the match, Yang Jin-Suk said.
The sensors were taken from her and sent to technical directors and supervisors for close examination while the fight was started.
The bout was halted at 12 seconds and the Taiwan fighter disqualified after already piling up nine points.
The island's cable television channels broadcast footage of a crying Yang while speculating over a conspiracy to kick out their fighter so that her Chinese rival may have a smoother path to gold.Yang's main obstacle to the gold medal was a Chinese fighter so in conspiratorially-minded Taiwan this will be seen as just another Chinese affront to Taiwan. Following so closely after the affair at the film festival in Tokyo where the Taiwan delegation was screamed at by Chinese, it will only stoke local anti-China feelings. A friend of mine observed that officials had moved the match up by a day, which may not seem like much, but in a sport where competitors have to meet weight requirements, could be serious. CNN reports that the Taiwan government is considering legal action. Reuters added additional facts that may infuriate people in Taiwan:
The decision sparked an angry slanging match between Taiwanese and Chinese journalists at a press conference, as officials refused to translate questions as to whether the decision had been politically motivated.ADDED: Local legislators get in on the fun. Taipei Times piece on the issue.
Another story has a slightly different construction of events, saying that the sensors were found during the fight:
Unfortunate the WTF (nice acronym there!) website has no news about this. Reuters and a couple of other news orgs noted:
A senior official from the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) disputed that, and said Yang had put the sensors in her footwear even after officials had earlier confiscated another set from her.Highly pro-Taiwan Youtube video here, a good example of how this will be constructed here in Taiwan. The video says the officials who stopped the fight were Chinese, but no other report says this. The WTF Sec-Gen is Korean. From my vantage point it is hard to call this as anything other than busted cheating.
"The sensors give the fighter an unfair advantage by making the blows seem bigger than they are," said WTF secretary general Yang Jin Suk, adding that the decision was fair and more sanctions could be expected.
These events are common in Taekwondo which has a long history of disputed calls, a problem the sensors were meant to address. A similar event from a previous match has Ovid Tseng yelling at the judges when South Korean officials handed a match to a South Korean player even though video showed the South Korean competitor had made an illegal hit.
ADDED: Anti-China sentiment in Taiwan can't be good for the pro-China KMT in the upcoming local elections. How long before KMT officials move to dampen this outburst? Moreover, the various Chen Shui-bian verdicts were going to be fodder for the KMT to occupy the media with anti-Chen rhetoric to pummel the DPP during the waning days of the bitter local election campaign. Now the media is occupied with anti-China rhetoric instead. Thank you, Ms. Yang.
Don't miss all the comments below with lots of links and criticisms.
UPDATE: Dixteel adds more juicy details in the comments below. I would really love to hear a clear, strong denial from Ms. Yang, something like "There were no extra sensors taped to my socks!" Clearly the WTF needs to be more sensitive to the various nationalisms at play in these matches!
UPDATE 2: This is spreading like wildfire on the net in Taiwan. Facebook (the support group is here) is full of expressions of anger, and articles like this are being swapped around. Note how the picture caption calls on Taiwanese to rise up and shout "I protest!" Video from CTS, the pro-KMT cable station, with tears from Yang.
UPDATE 3: More video with clear realtime comments in Chinese. I've moved this post to the top.
UPDATE 4: Video with English translation/commentary. Watch out, it comments sometimes without letting you know it is commenting. The English does not reflect the narrator's words.
UPDATE 5: Hahaha. Taipei Times reports: Asked why Yang Shu-chun had been disqualified after passing the pre-match inspection, Yang Jin-suk said he “couldn’t explain in detail because it involved personal privacy.” That kind of obfuscating isn't going to help matters.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.