South Korean women's team in 3,000-meter short track
What's a short track event without a South Korean controversy?
South Korea saw a gold medal slip away in the women's 3,000-meter short-track relay at the Winter Olympics Wednesday when one of its skaters was disqualified for impeding a Chinese skater, ending the country's streak of Olympic golds at four.
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China was then bumped up to first place, with Canada in second and the United States team, who was nearly lapped during the race, in third. The medal is the first for the Americans in the event since 1994, when they also won the bronze.Thinking they had won their record fifth-straight Olympic gold, South Koreans Cho Ha-Ri, Kim Min-Jung, Lee Eun-Byul and Park Seung-Hi took a victory lap on the ice with their nation's flags. Several minutes passed before the disqualification call came in, angering South Korea's coach, Choi Kwang-Bok, who furiously smacked the pads on the rink walls. It was Kim's skate blade that touched that of China's Sun Linlin with five laps to go, causing Sun to lose speed and fall behind.
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The ruling comes eight years after Kim Dong-Sung was disqualified for cutting off
Apolo Anton Ohno
in the 1,500-meter at Salt Lake City, inflaming tensions between the countries in the wild-and-wooly sport where bumping and falling is common. South Koreans sent in thousands of irate e-mails to the U.S. Olympic site afterward. In an odd twist, the referee who disqualified Kim, Jim Hewish, was the same one who disqualified the women's team.There was drama on the slopes too when Julia Mancuso
was flagged to restart her first giant slalom run after her longtime rival and teammate Lindsey Vonn
crashed before her. She was still untangling herself from the netting when Mancuso took to the course under dense fog and unrelenting snow. By the time Mancuso, the defending champion, skied again, conditions on the mountain had deteriorated and she ended up in 18th place. Distraught and emotionally spent, she collapsed on her back at the finish and burst into tears.
Watch the first runs in the women's giant slalom
The second and final runs were postponed until Thursday, when bad weather is also expected.Winners of the day include Canada in the two-women bobsled, Australia's Lydia Lassila in women's aerials, the Czech Republic's Martina Sablikova in the women's 5,000-meter long track and Sweden in the 4 x 10-km cross-country relay.