Well, I guess I have to post it:
Lee Jung-su, the South Korean gold winner at the men’s 1,500-meter short-track, accused Ohno of being “unqualified” to share the same awarding podium, publicly criticizing Ohno’s rough play that was reportedly often done in a subtle manner and therefore went unnoticed in the eyes of the referees.
“Ohno didn’t deserve to stand on the same medal podium,” Lee said, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Lee was commenting on the manner Ohno played in the same match where the latter earned the silver by windfall when two other South Korean gold favorites — Sung Si-bak and Lee Ho-suk — crashed into each other in their final stretch toward the finish. Ohno was trailing behind them.
“Okay, it’s technically not a foul play as long as the referees didn’t notice. But (Ohno) used his arms too aggressively today.”
Lee fumed: “I was so enraged that it was difficult for me to contain myself even as I was doing a winner’s ceremony.”
Hmmm, and it was Ohno who made the 스포츠맨십 정신에 어긋나는 망언, right?
The Newsweek blog has a much kinder review of what took place:
And it absolutely was a war. Ohno and the three Koreans led the field, jockeying on every turn for position. As Ohno was holding off a Korean on the outside, another Korean would pass on the inside. “It was just a fight,” Ohno said afterwards. “I was fighting with one Korean and then I passed him and was fighting with another Korean. There was a lot of bumping, a lot of contact. I got tangled up.”
Ohno says he was in the best shape of his life, which put pressure on his opponents and forced them to resort to more physical tactics. He endured more bumping, contact and tangles than anyone else and, against an exceptionally talented trio, it eventually took its toll. With a lap-and-a-half to go, one Korean grabbed him and, he felt, impeded him beyond what is normal for the sport. “I never had anyone hold onto my leg or my arm that long.”
It cost him his pace and by the final lap, all three Koreans had moved in front of him and appeared headed for a medal sweep. What happened next was extraordinary, almost unimaginable. Perhaps the combat had taken a toll on the Koreans too. Perhaps they were distracted by the prospect of one last Ohno rush. Most likely, after skating in perfect harmony with his teammates, Lee Ho-suk saw a chance to nip his countryman with a brazen move in the final few yards. Whatever, the gods of short track clearly decided to smile on Ohno for his ferocious effort.
In the final turn, Lee, in second place, lost his footing, wiping out his teammate behind him and the two slid together into the boards. Lee Jung-su, the top-rated skater in the world who was slight ahead and just out of harm’s way, claimed the gold medal. But Ohno had a clear path to his silver and the American record. As an added bonus, Celski, the 19-year-old who idolized Ohno as a kid and took up the sport after watching Ohno’s performance in Salt Lake, skated home for the bronze.
Talk amongst yourselves.
(HT to reader)