Taekwondo athlete Yang Shu-chun (楊淑君) yesterday urged the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) to deal fairly with her disputed disqualification from this year’s Asian Games.
Yang, who arrived in South Korea on Friday night, said she believed that the WTF would handle the case with extra care.
At the building where the WTF’s disciplinary committee meeting was held yesterday, Yang, Chinese Taipei Taekwondo Association (CTTA) president Chen Chien-ping (陳建平) and Yang’s coaches, Liu Tsung-ta (劉聰達) and Liu Ching-wen (劉慶文), were greeted by two Taiwanese exchange students -waving the Republic of China flag in a gesture of moral support.
According to Chen, the meeting was conducted in a cordial atmosphere and none of the three attending committee members were from South Korea.
A WTF official said that the disciplinary committee’s decision regarding Yang’s controversial disqualification would be made public tomorrow at the earliest.
Prior to the meeting, Liang Ying-ping (梁英斌), Taiwan’s representative to South Korea, hosted a luncheon for Yang, Chen, Liu Tsung-ta and Liu Ching-wen, in a token of support.
Yang was disqualified in her first match in the Asian Games women’s under-49kg division on Nov. 17, after being accused of wearing two extra electronic sensors on her socks for the purpose of scoring extra points.
Astonished by her disqualification and unwilling to accept what happened after taking a 9-0 lead against her opponent, Yang remained on the mat despite requests from officials to leave.
TV replays of the match show that Yang had removed the two sensors before her bout began and taekwondo officials gave inconsistent explanations of the reasoning behind Yang’s dismissal, sparking questions about the legitimacy of the disqualification.
Speaking in Taipei on Friday night prior to his departure, Chen said that at the request of the WTF, the CTTA had submitted three written statements from himself, Yang and Liu Tsung-ta, offering detailed evidence to protect the rights and interests of the athlete and coaches.
“There is just one set of facts related to the matter and we will do our best to restore the truth at Saturday’s meeting,” Chen said, expressing hope for “a good outcome.”
“The Sport Affairs Council and CTTA have reached a consensus on the issue, which is to maintain the rights of the athletes, coaches and association, and not be banned from competitions or have our rights revoked,” he added.
Although Taiwan has officially filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the disqualification, Chen made it clear that “we don’t want to see it get to that point.”
The four were scheduled to fly back to Taiwan yesterday evening after the WTF meeting.