Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea's Jong Kwang Bom disqualified for tripping opponent during race
What's the story?
16-year-old Ice skater Jong Kwang Bom has made headlines with what appeared to be a case of unsporting behaviour from the youngster. After having tripped himself, few seconds into the race, Jong was seen reaching out to his Japanese opponent's skate so as to trip him as well.
In case you didn't know..
North Korea's Jong Kwang Bom was competing in the 500m Speed Skating Track heat event, when this unfortunate event occurred. The apparent misconduct on his part has brought him under the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
The heart of the matter
Jong Kwang Bom was seen tumbling right after the race kicked off, and was seen tripping Japanese opponent Keita Watanabe. Watanabe too was seen losing his balance due to this act, however, continued with his race. This led to a restart being announced.
However, the drama of the afternoon did not end there, when Jong crashed for the second time after the restart. Following the infamous restart, while all the skaters were in position once again, Kwang Bom was finally disqualified after having collided with Watanabe for the second time.
However, on being questioned, Watanabe maintained a dignified stance and said that he did not see any foul play in the collisions. He said he believed that it was unintentional and that his hand just happened to be by his skate after tripping.
Japanese coach Jonathan Guilmette also feels that the incident was not intentional and does not know how the events transpired for sure. Stating that it could have been a reflexive act to grab onto what was closest to him after falling, the duo maintained a highly dignified approach to the situation.
The Men's Speed Skating 1000m gold medal final will be held on Friday and it is yet to be seen how that event turns out.
Despite this seeming like a probable deliberate infringement on behalf of Kwang Bom, one cannot help but give him the benefit of the doubt that his reaction might just have been reflexive as pointed out by his opponent.