China is calling for action with claims the country’s teen superstar was deliberately sabotaged at his home Winter Olympics.
Day three of the Beijing Winter Olympics looks to be relatively quiet for the Australian team, with only one athlete in action.
Brendan Corey will take part in the men’s 1000m short track speed skating competition tonight, looking to potentially replicate the legendary Steven Bradbury.
Australia had its most successful day in Winter Olympic history on Sunday, with Jakara Anthony winning a gold medal in the women’s freestyle moguls competition.
It was Australia’s sixth ever Winter Olympics gold medal and the first since Torah Bright and Lydia Lassila in 2010.
Elsewhere, the action has been crazy. There was huge drama in the women’s ice hockey with Team Canada protesting against Russia after the ROC team refused to provide Covid testing data.
There has also been a furore behind the scenes with Olympians slamming the awful conditions for athletes forced into isolation.
China’s fury after golden boy ‘robbed’
Hundreds of Chinese fans have flooded social media platform Weibo with angry messages after national golden boy Su Yiming missed out on the gold medal in the men’s slopestyle final on Monday.
The 17-year-old Chinese home favourite picked up the silver medal behind Canada’s Max Parrot in a thrilling final.
According to international news agencies, including Reuters, Su Yiming was the No. 1 trending topic on the social media site during and after the event.
Reuters reports fans believe Su was “robbed” and reacted with furious messages claiming the judging panel did not score him correctly.
As early as Su’s first run, Chinese fans were unhappy.
“It’s such a smooth ride. Why didn’t Su get an 80 plus? I don’t understand,” one of the top comments on the site read.
Another user wrote: “I am speechless. It was just a perfect run”.
The South China Morning Post reported fans believe the international judges deliberately sabotaged him.
“One user wrote “Congratulations to Su Yiming. You are the champion. You are the best. We did it fairly. No regrets!”
Su, meanwhile, was all class in reacting to his silver medal-finish.
“To be able to take part in the Winter Olympics in my home country, to be able to compete with my childhood idol and stand with them on the podium, this is a very precious moment in my life,” Su told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
“To me, this is very special.”
Freak skater is now greatest Olympian of all time
Dutch icon Ireen Wust has become the first person in the history of the Olympic movement to win gold medals in five consecutive Olympic Games.
The 35-year-old made the staggering moment of history in the women’s 1500m speed skating event where she took gold by just 0.44 seconds ahead of Japan’s Miho Takagi.
She now has 12 Olympic medals with six of those being gold.
It has sporting commentators comparing her with the likes of Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.
‘Stomach churning’ crash leaves star in distress
The men’s downhill course ws shut for more than 10 minutes following a scary crash by Germany’s Dominik Schwainger.
He went down hard and skidded into the safety netting after he lost his balance at a corner while travelling at speeds around 130km/h.
Schwainger was dragged several hundred metres as he fell down the course. He did the final 100m of his slide lying almost motionless.
He was seen lifting his head as he came to a halt, but then leaned backwards and did not move for several minutes.
He was seen clutching his left arm.
There has been criticism over the medical officials at the course after medical staff took several minutes before they were able to reach the motionless athlete.
English journalist Olive Brown wrote on Twitter: “Awful crash in the Olympic downhill. Germany’s Dominik Schwaiger, second man down, wipes out at almost 80mph on treacherous Yangqing course and is in evident distress. It seemed to take far too long for medical help to reach him.”
English Olympic rowing champion Matthew Pinsent also wrote on Twitter: “Horrendous fall for Schwaiger. Medics looked a little slow getting to him. Stomach churning to see an athlete down.”
Schwainger was eventually loaded onto a stretcher ski and was transported down the hill.
The event eventually continued.
US champ crashes out in ‘big shock’
Mikaela Shiffrin’s first run at the Beijing Games ended in disaster.
For the American skiing star’s first action of the 2022 Winter Olympics, the giant slalom, Shiffrin crashed off course and was eliminated from the competition. She was the reigning champion, claiming the giant slalom gold medal at in PyeongChang in 2018.
She fell coming around a left turn and missed an early gate.
It was the first time Shiffrin has “skied out” since January 23, 2018 – 30 giant slalom races ago. NBC flashed footage of Shiffrin’s family in disbelief watching at home after her shocking result.
Day 3 schedule, Aussies in action
From 10.44pm – short track speed skating, men’s 100m quarterfinal 2 (Brendan Corey)
From 11.20pm – short track speed skating, men’s 100m semi-finals
11.58pm – short track speed skating, men’s 100m final
*All times AEDT
US criticises China’s choice of Olympic torchbearer
The United States has criticised China’s choice of an ethnic Uyghur to carry the Olympic torch, calling it an effort by Beijing to “distract us” from the mistreatment of the minority group.
The appearance of Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a 20-year-old cross-country skier, as the final torch bearer thrust her – and the Uyghur question – squarely onto the world stage.
“This is an effort by the Chinese to distract us from the real issue here at hand,” US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Sunday on CNN. “That Uyghurs are being tortured, and Uyghurs are the victims of human rights violations by the Chinese.”
“We know that a genocide has been committed there. We’ve called them out on it. The president has called them out on it.”
China’s ruling Communist Party has been accused of widespread human rights abuses against the mostly Muslim minority from the far-northwestern region of Xinjiang.
At least one million Uyghurs have been incarcerated in “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, rights campaigners say, and Chinese authorities have been accused of forcibly sterilising women and imposing forced labour in the area.
Beijing, which hopes to use the Winter Olympics to draw attention to China’s dynamic growth and increasingly prominent global role, has denied all allegations of abuse or genocide, and exhorted its critics to stop “politicising” the Games.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has played down the controversial pick of torchbearer.
Yilamujiang had “every right” to participate, said IOC spokesman Mark Adams.
“We don’t discriminate against people on where they’re from, what their background is.”
The United States, Australia, Britain and Canada were among countries that did not send diplomatic representatives to the Winter Games because of rights concerns, especially over the Uyghurs.
Yilamujiang, whose smiling face was seen by millions around the world, was not considered one of China’s most accomplished athletes. She finished 43rd in the skiathlon race on Saturday.
Censors step in after Chinese star’s blunder
China appeared to censor an outpouring of social media vitriol against a naturalised US-born figure skater who took a tumble at the Winter Olympics and nearly cost the hosts dearly.
Nineteen-year-old Beverly Zhu, who was born and raised in the United States but now competes for China under the name Zhu Yi, came last in the women’s singles short program in the team event.
It was a nervous performance from Zhu, who fell early on and crashed into the wall after failing to land a jump. She missed another jump later in her routine and looked to be holding back tears as she awaited her score.
Zhu finished with the lowest score in the event as China fell from third to fifth and only narrowly squeezed through to the next round of the free program.
On China’s Twitter-like social media platform Weibo, the hashtag #ZhuYiFellOver racked up over 230 million views before being deactivated, with searches late Sunday afternoon returning no results.
Another hashtag — #ZhuYiMessedUp — remained accessible, clocking over 80 million views.
“I guess because I missed the first jump I was just kind of frazzled and felt a lot of pressure on landing that last jump, and unfortunately I popped it,” said Zhu, who chose in 2018 to skate for China.
“I’m upset and a little embarrassed. I guess I felt a lot of pressure because I know everybody in China was pretty surprised with the selection for ladies’ singles and I just really wanted to show them what I was able to do but unfortunately I didn’t.”
– with AFP and the New York Post