Friday, November 19, 2010

So this is what it feels like to be on the receiving end of sports-induced nationalist rage

Taiwanese fans are up in arms over the disqualification of Ms Yang Shuchun [above], and some of them are getting quite nasty, according to CNN:
Taiwan has rallied behind a taekwondo athlete who was controversially disqualified at the Asian Games in China, setting up Internet support groups and even burning South Korean flags.

The island's ruling administration was also criticized for its response to the incident, which saw Yang Shu-chun disqualified while leading during a match in the women's 49-kilogram category in Guangzhou on Tuesday.

The Asian Taekwondo Union released a statement accusing gold-medal hopeful Yang of a "shocking act of deception," claiming that she had illegally added two extra sensors to the heel of her socks to help score more points.

The ATU rejected an appeal from the Taiwan team and subsequently banned Yang and the two coaches involved pending a hearing by the martial art's world ruling body.

Local politicians from the People First Party burned South Korean flags outside Taiwan's Sports Affairs Council in the capital on Thursday, the Taipei Times reported, in protest against World Taekwondo Federation secretary-general Yang Jin-suk.

They also smashed imported products on the floor before police intervened, the newspaper said.
Take that, you salted dried seaweed sheets!

More seriously, while I feel bad for Ms Yang or any athlete who works so hard to make it to the big show only to be disqualified over something stupid (controversial or not), I encourage you to go the Zen route of Kim Dongsung, the South Korean Olympian who lost his gold to Apolo Ohno after a controversial call.

Oh, and message to Taiwan: All your taekwondo are belong to us.

UPDATE:
The Marmot's Hole has an interesting post on the same subject. I predict the comments section will be full of dispassionate analysis of the merits of the disqualification and nothing else.

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11 comments:

  1. The funny thing is, the ref was a filipino, the judges were Chinese, Kuwaiti, Tajik.


    Referee: Fernandez Stephen Estanislao(Philippines)

    Judge: Guo Li(China), Alfadhel Faraj M(Kuwait), Abdujaborov Jamshe(Tajikistan)


    And the event was held in China, no Korean was competing in that class, and the gold was won by a Chinese. There is nothing there to suggest any Korean had anything to do with this except that Taekwondo is a Korean sport, and the organization head is in Korea. Yet Taiwanese are blaming Korea.

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  2. Oh, by the way, the sensor that's in question was made in Korea - in 1997. I guess all those Korean connections are enough for the Taiwanese to go ballistics. The Taiwanese rumors are going around their media and their internet that the Korean was the referee, which is not true at all.

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  3. Taiwanese are still angry at long-time anti-communist ally South Korea being the last "rich" country to diplomatically abandon them, back in the 1990s, when Seoul switched its recognition from Taipei to Beijing. As I understand it, that set many Taiwanese off on a bitter hate-on against South Korea that still persists today.

    To some extent, I guess, Taiwanese lashing out against South Korea is like left-of-center South Koreans lashing out at the US: It feels good to vent, but you know the object of the protest will never really respond in a harmful way.

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  4. That is just a very poor excuse to use to hate.

    The US and Japan broke off relations full 20 years earlier than Korea. Where's the hatred for them??
    The US gave the Taiwanese 5 hours to vacate the Taiwanese embassy. Japanese gave the Taiwanese 3 days to vacate. Korea gave the Taiwanese 2 full months to vacate, but the Taiwanese refused to budge, until Korean authorities had no choice but to expel them by force. That's when the Taiwanese media started taking snap shots of their embassy workers getting shuffled off. That lead to boycotts of Korean goods, and Taiwan ended air flights over Korea - it was all one way boycott.

    When 1988 came around, Taiwanese media printed unflattering stories about Korea, why the Olympics was being held in such an undeveloped country (Taiwan at that time, thought they were better than Korea). Things have drastically changed now, and Taiwan thinks they are falling behind Korea - many media stories on Korea, comparing with Taiwan, and how Korean industries are outcompeting Taiwan, and so on.

    But in Korea, there's hardly any stories about Taiwan. Most Koreans don't even know where Taiwan or where Thailand is. Taiwan thinks Korea is their competitor. Korea doesn't care, and that bothers the Taiwanese to no end.

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  5. And your example of Anton Ohno is a poor comparison too. Anton Ohno an American was competing, in America. So if people want to point fingers, they'll say America. But in this case, there's no evidence anywhere that any Korean was involved at all. This had nothing to do with a Korean or Korea, only rumors manufactured by Taiwanese saying the ref was a Korean, which is a lie. That Taiwanese politicians are burning Korean flags makes it even more absurd.

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  6. Hi, I'm a Taiwanese. I found this blog post while trying to search overseas opinions about Yang's event. I'm not going to protest here. In fact, I also don't like some irrational talks or behaviors that my compatriots did. However, it seems that here has some misunderstandings about the reason why Taiwanese are so angry at Korea (and China), so I would like to explain it a little bit.

    It's truth that Taiwan and South Korea are economically rivals. But there are still many Taiwanese loving to watch Korean TV dramas, to buy Korean clothes and products, etc. However, when speaking of sports, that's another story.

    For the past 30 years, Taiwanese players have often been in unfavorable situations when facing Korean players or judges. The problem is particularly serious in Taekwondo, in which the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU) are all controlled by Koreans for decades. In a Taekwondo final in the East Asian Games last year, the Korean player struck opponent Taiwanese player's throat and caused the latter to drop to the floor unconsciously. The Korean player did not get a foul and won the game, and the Taiwanese player was sent to the hospital.

    Anyway, back to Yang's event, WTF secretary general Yang Jin Suk explained in the press conference that additional sensors attached to Yang's heels led to her disqualification. However, from the game's video recording, it is clear that the sensors were removed before the game started (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31IuoPWi9oE), and it was also impossible for Yang to attach them back during the match. So what really caused her disqualification? Yang and her coach want to know. All Taiwanese, including myself, also want to know. Otherwise, it's really cruel to accuse someone cheating for what s/he did not do, especially in a such big game.

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  7. Hmm... what happened to the comment by the visitor from Taiwan. I liked what he/she had to say. Maybe I should just re-post it myself.

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  8. You guys are getting too politically analytical about all this. The reason why Taiwan is picking on Korea is simple...we beat them in the baseball final game at the Asian Games! Woohoo! (We beat them twice in that series).
    http://www.gz2010.cn/info/ENG_ENG/ZZ/ZZS103A_BB@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ENG.html

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  9. Also, this situation with the Taiwanese athlete is different than the Ohno thing because angry Koreans weren't necessarily hating the USA about the bad call...they were just hating Ohno for that bit of acting at the finish line. Taiwanese are hating Korea because....taekwondo is a Korean sport? Or the makers of those sensors is a Korean company?? I dunno.

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  10. Hmm... Don't know why it disappeared. I'm going to just reprint the comment from the person from Taiwan:

    Hi, I'm a Taiwanese. I found this blog post while trying to search overseas opinions about Yang's event. I'm not going to protest here. In fact, I also don't like some irrational talks or behaviors that my compatriots did. However, it seems that here has some misunderstandings about the reason why Taiwanese are so angry at Korea (and China), so I would like to explain it a little bit.

    It's truth that Taiwan and South Korea are economically rivals. But there are still many Taiwanese loving to watch Korean TV dramas, to buy Korean clothes and products, etc. However, when speaking of sports, that's another story.

    For the past 30 years, Taiwanese players have often been in unfavorable situations when facing Korean players or judges. The problem is particularly serious in Taekwondo, in which the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU) are all controlled by Koreans for decades. In a Taekwondo final in the East Asian Games last year, the Korean player struck opponent Taiwanese player's throat and caused the latter to drop to the floor unconsciously. The Korean player did not get a foul and won the game, and the Taiwanese player was sent to the hospital.

    Anyway, back to Yang's event, WTF secretary general Yang Jin Suk explained in the press conference that additional sensors attached to Yang's heels led to her disqualification. However, from the game's video recording, it is clear that the sensors were removed before the game started (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31IuoPWi9oE), and it was also impossible for Yang to attach them back during the match. So what really caused her disqualification? Yang and her coach want to know. All Taiwanese, including myself, also want to know. Otherwise, it's really cruel to accuse someone cheating for what s/he did not do, especially in a such big game.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "the Korean player struck opponent Taiwanese player's throat and caused the latter to drop to the floor "

    Another non-event that became sensationlized in Taiwan. Most Koreans didn't even know that event was going on. And once again, the judges weren't even Koreans. The referee wasn't a Korean. One of the judges who agreed with the decision was a Taiwanese! And that event too, lead to banning of Korean customers in Taiwanese establishments, and mass protests. You're telling me all this hatred toward innocent people is justified? Right.

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