Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - Page 2 News List

SOCKGATE: Netizens voice rage at Games

WHAT THE FIZUCK?A flood of Facebook postings and blog entries are voicing the rage many Taiwanese feel after taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun was disqualified

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

Internet users in Taiwan inundated online forums and social networking sites with angry comments after Taiwanese taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) was disqualified from the Asian Games on Wednesday.

Yang was disqualified in the first round of her under-49kg bout against Vietnamese opponent Vu Thi Hau while holding a 9-0 lead.

Officials stopped the bout because they believed Yang’s electronic socks, used to register successful kicks, did not meet requirements, even though they had been approved in a pre-bout inspection.

As of yesterday, several fan pages had been set up on the social networking Web site Facebook to support Yang.

“I think the acronym of the World Taekwondo Federation, WTF, says it all: what the fuck,” Ruojin Yen, a member of social networking site Facebook, said in a message on her front page.

Another Facebooker, Michael Wang, believed the whole incident was a conspiracy.

“The whole thing looks like a conspiracy from any perspective: The date of the bout was changed right before it was scheduled to take place, the inspector asked [Yang] to change her socks, and then, at the end, the Korean referee came out and announced her disqualification,” Wang said in a message on Facebook.

Many Taiwanese netizens alleged that the whole incident could be a conspiracy set up by the host country China, because if Yang had won the match, she may have come face-to-face with her Chinese rival, taekwondo athlete Wu Jingyu (吳靜鈺)

Fans also expressed their anger toward China and South Korea, because Zhao Lei (趙磊), vice president of the Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU), is Chinese and Yang Jin-suk, secretary-general of the WTF, is from South Korea.

Some called for a boycott of South Korean goods.

Netizen Tsai A-ka (蔡阿嘎), who has made several videos in reaction to current events, made a video in which he recounted how he tried to buy some food from a convenience store, but all they had were South Korean kimchi-flavored crackers, seaweed and instant noodles.

In the video, he threw all the kimchi-flavored products to the ground and stomped on them.

“Let’s boycott Korean merchandise,” he said. “Let’s stop watching Korean drama! If you want to watch Korean drama, why not just watch Discovery channel?”

“Since Discovery channel and Korean drama show nothing but animals anyway,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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