Taekwondo champion claims gold medal ‘stolen’

By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/21 21:48:40

Zheng Shuyin (left) and Bianca Walkden in the Friday bout Photo: VCG

British taekwondoin Bianca Walkden's controversial win over China's Zheng Shuyin at the world championships on Friday was under the spotlight as Chinese netizens questioned the referee's double standard on foreign and local players.

Zheng, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, was leading 20-10 against Walkden in the last 48 seconds of the women's 73-kilogram final before she was disqualified for allegedly committing 10 fouls during the bout by Moroccan referee Tarik Benradi. 

Before the bout, Zheng reportedly had three straight wins against Walkden.

During the game, Walkden pushed Zheng off the mat repeatedly and brutally, which is at the center of the controversy as Zheng regarded it as fouls while Walkden insisted that she was within the rules. 

Zhang Yinyu, a former international taekwondo referee, told Tencent Sports that at least eight of the warnings Zheng received were wrong and caused by Walkden's fouls. 

However, Xiao Yuanmei, a taekwondo promoter at the training center of the China Adult Education Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday that although the referee's judgments were questionable, Zheng lost because of her tactical mistakes. Walkden capitalized on Zheng's defensive tactics, but Zheng did not change the way she fought, Xiao noted.

News of Zheng's loss has reached Chinese social media, with many netizens questioning the referee's double standards. "What a dirty game, Zheng's gold medal was stolen!" said a netizen on Weibo.  

Some international netizens sympathized with Zheng, while the Global Times reporter found Walkden turned off the comments feature of her latest Instagram post.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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