ISU unconventionally explains disqualifications in short track women's 3,000m relay final

Updated 2018-02-21 23:51:02 Xinhua

Fan Kexin (R) of team China competes during ladies' 3000m relay final of short track speed skating at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena, Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 20, 2018. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

International Skating Union Wednesday illustrated the penalties that disqualified China and Canada in the short track women's 3,000m relay final after both teams expressed confusion at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

China and Canada were both disqualified after crossing the finish line second and third in Tuesday's final. The referees reviewed the game video for several minutes before making the decision.

ISU, world governing body of skating, unconventionally released the images that "were reviewed by the referees and resulted in the penalties for China and Canda" .

"During China's final relay exchange, the activate Chinese skater (Fan Kexin) drastically changed lane from the outside to the inside, impeding the active (South) Korean skater (Choi Min-jeong)," the ISU statement said.

"In the case of Canada, a non-competing skater on the ice crossed over and impeded the action at the finish lane."

ISU said that the rules for the relay stipulate that all skaters in the relay team can get a penalty.

ISU would make no further explanation while the statement didn't mention the crash when South Korean Kim A-lang's slip caused Canada's Valerie Maltaisto to fall, with Italy also crashing on the same corner.

China filed a protest about the disqualification, which was dismissed for failing to meet the deadline of 30 minutes after the competition.

China had the same situation both in 2006 and 2014 when disqualifications in the finals denied them Olympic medals in this event.

Canada were also confused about the penalty.

"We have to have a look at the video for sure and have more explanation for that," Marianne St. Gelais of Canada said after the final.

Quite a few former short trackers have called for the explanation of penalties and release of videos including former Olympic champion Apolo Anton Ohno of America.

"I have seen the replay like ten times, and I still can't get why China was disqualified, " Ohno told Xinhua on Tuesday.

"I suggest that, for the next Games, the reason should be given with the penalty," he said.

South Korea surpassed China in the final sprint before defending the relay title. Italy won the silver medal and the Netherlands, which won final B in a new world record of 4:03.471, took the bronze.

It is the fourth gold medal for the hosts at the Games and also the third in short track speed skating.

The short track competitions produced a variety of high-drama situations including crashes and disqualifications. The Chinese athletes have been held back at PyeongChang due to penalties and now China only took one silver four days into the competition when teenage Li Jinxu grabbed a silver in women's 1,500m.

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