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Asian Games

South Korea demand probe over athlete’s assault on swimmer

On Thursday, South Korean swimmer Kim Hye-jin was allegedly kicked by China’s Duo Shen during training at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

South Korea's Kim Hye-jin drinks after a heat of the women's 100m breaststroke swimming event during the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on August 19, 2018. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

The South Korean Sport and Olympic Committee (KSOC) has asked Asian Games organisers to investigate after swimmer Kim Hye-jin was allegedly assaulted on Thursday (23 August) by China’s Duo Shen during training in Jakarta.

According to Korean news agency Yonhap, the 24-year-old Kim accidentally bumped into Chinese swimmer and then apologised. However, Shen failed to understand what she was saying and kicked Kim twice in the belly.

The coaches of South Korea and China then separated the swimmers to avoid further incidents.

Investigation requested

The KSOC has formally requested an investigation by the Games organizers and the Olympic Council of Asia over the ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ of Shen.

Unintentionally (Kim) kicked the chest of China's Duo Shen - who was swimming behind her - with her foot’, the committee said in a statement.

‘Kim immediately apologised, but Shen followed Kim to the end of the lane and pulled Kim's ankle down with her hand before kicking Kim's belly twice with her feet.

‘As Kim said she wanted an official punishment against the Chinese athlete over her unsportsmanlike conduct of physical assault, the KSOC officially requested an investigation.

It also urged proper action to be taken if the assault is confirmed, to prevent similar conducts from taking place again.’

The statement added that the Chinese staff apologized to the South Korean athletes and coaches at the scene, however, the apology was rejected.

Kim Seong-jo, chef de mission of the South Korean team in Jakarta, said that the KSOC can’t condone violence in sports.

‘Even if there was an apology from the Chinese athlete, this incident should be investigated and proper actions should be made,’ he said.

Kim was part of the South Korean 4X100m freestyle relay team who initially finished third on Thursday, but was disqualified for jumping early.

The Chinese team was disqualified for the same reason.


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