Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - Page 2 News List

SOCKGATE: Former champion comes out in support of Yang

By Cheng Yu-chia  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwanese former taekwondo champion Su Li-wen (蘇麗文) threw in her support behind for fellow taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) on Wednesday with an entry on her blog, accusing China of resorting to dirty tricks.

Su described Yang’s disqualification as “a game that killed a Taiwanese athlete.”

Su is largely remembered as the national heroine who, despite falling to the ground 11 times after being injured, continued to fight until her coach carried her out of the ring at the 2008 Olympics, displaying a bout of perseverance that moved many Taiwanese.

Su, who won the taekwondo championship at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, finished first in the 2007 Summer Universade and brought home a gold from the 2008 Asian Taekwondo Championship, said in her blog that she felt very angry after watching the match on Wednesday because the judge not only disqualified Yang, but also accused Yang of “cheating.”

“I find it extremely unacceptable,” Su said. “I’ve been a [taekwondo] athlete for many years. This was the first time I have heard such a ridiculous accusation.”

“[Yang] scored with upper movements. Given our ranking as among the top three in the world, there is no need for us to play tricks against an opponent who is way below us. This is absolutely a political smear campaign,” Su said.

Su said Yang is almost unparallel in her category, adding that Yang scored six points with pressing movements and two with back kicks, all of which were manually scored by the judge rather than by the electronic score system.

As such, it goes to show that Yang was way ahead of her opponent and that cheating was unnecessary, Su said.

“It doesn’t matter if we fight to the death during the Games, but we cannot accept such an accusation and unfair treatment,” Su said.

She urged other Taiwanese athletes to restore the Taiwanese team’s honor in the next three days, saying “we are the undefeatable children of Taiwan.”

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