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Sport Korea skaters accused of bullying teammate

06:01  21 february  2018
06:01  21 february  2018 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

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South Korean speed skaters left their teammate in the dust in the team pursuit event. Korea ’s didn’t, and the result is overwhelming backlash, an online petition, and accusations of bullying and shaming.

A bullying scandal involving South Korean speed skaters is creating quite a bit of buzz around Peyongchang in the Winter Olympics. According to USA Today, reports have surfaced of two speed skaters picking on their teammate during the women's team pursuit where squad member Noh

South Korea's Noh Seon-Yeong, South Korea's Kim Bo-Reum and South Korea's Park Ji Woo compete in the women's team pursuit quarter-final speed skating event.© ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images South Korea's Noh Seon-Yeong, South Korea's Kim Bo-Reum and South Korea's Park Ji Woo compete in the women's team pursuit quarter-final speed skating event.

A South Korean skater has been left in tears after struggling to keep up with her teammates before being targeted by them in a post-match interview at the Winter Olympics.

The South Korean team were not considered a realistic medal chance in the speed skating offence but quickly slipped out of contention in their 500-metre team pursuit quarter-finals against The Netherlands.

Noh Seon-yeong was a long way off her teammates Kim Bo-reum nor Park Ji-woo in their final lap and was consoled by assistant coach Bob de Jong after breaking down in tears on the side of the track.

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A pair of South Korean speed skaters have come under heavy criticism and been accused of bullying after they left their teammate behind during the 500-meter team pursuit quarterfinals event on Monday, according to the Korea Herald.

Noh finished four seconds behind her teammates which sparked questions about whether she had been hung out to dry as the skaters are meant to work in unison to minimise drag.

The rankings in team pursuit events are decided on the time the third skater in each team crosses the finish line and the South Korean team eventually finished seventh.

To make matters worse Kim and Park ignored Noh as she wept after the race, before turning on her in a television interview after the race.

"We were skating well," Kim said. "But the last skater couldn’t keep up and we had a disappointing score."

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Korea ’s didn’t, and the result is overwhelming backlash, an online petition, and accusations of bullying and shaming. “It wasn’t that we didn’t think this would happen with Seon-yeong,” she said, placing the blame on her despairing teammate ’s shoulders.

South Korean speed skaters left their teammate in the dust in the team pursuit event. Korea ’s didn’t, and the result is overwhelming backlash, an online petition, and accusations of bullying and shaming.

Park added: "I was very shocked when I crossed the finish line, because that’s when I realized Noh was not with us."

The pair's act sparked a furious reaction from the public who accused them of bullying, with The Korea Herald reporting that 220,000 fans had signed a petition asking the presidential office to expel Park and Kim from the South Korean Olympic team.

"We do not want skaters like Kim and Park to represent our country," said one person who signed the petition online.

"They (Kim and Park) bring such a shame to our nation."

The team’s coach Baek Cheol-gi later called a press conference to address the controversy with a tearful Park apologising for her behaviour.

"I apologize to those who have been affected by what I said during the TV interview yesterday."

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