Chinese head coach resigns after Hungarian skater insults China online

By Wang Qi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/4 19:28:40

Team Hungary coach Zhang Jing looks on during the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships at Maurice Richard Arena on March 16, 2018 in Montreal, Canada. Photo: VCG

Chinese netizens and sports commentators backed Zhang Jing, head coach of the Hungarian short track speed team, who resigned on Tuesday, after a Hungarian skater on her team insulted China on Instagram. 

Zhang made her announcement through her personal WeChat account on Tuesday, saying she was extremely "astonished and outraged" over the insults at China from Hungarian Olympic champion Burjan Csaba. Zhang also demanded a public apology from the Hungarian Skating Federation.

According to reports and Burjan's Instagram screenshots, the 25-year-old skater used the "F" word, after being annoyed by an hour-long process at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport immigration inspection area on Monday. 

The skater was planning to compete in the ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Shanghai on Friday. 

"Zhang's decision should be respected. She is an excellent patriot," Luo Le, a commentator and research fellow of sports studies at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"Zhang probably felt she should be responsible for Burjan's intolerable mistake, which provoked many Chinese," Luo said.  

Burjan has been sent back to Hungary. He was banned from competing and has quit the Hungarian national team, Zhang told the Shanghai-based news site on Tuesday. 

Luo believes Burjan deserves a severe punishment. As a public figure who represents his country, he must be careful with his words and public image.   

"I don't think Messi or LeBron James would do such a thing. You can't blame the chef who offers you a good meal when you are starving. The Olympic winner just forgot the well-diggers when drinking from the well," Luo said. 

Supported by the Chinese Skating Association, Zhang became coach of the Hungarian short track speed team in 2012 and led the team to more than 150 medals at world-class events, including a gold medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018. Burjan was one of the team members that won the men's 5,000-meter relay final. 

Hungarian ice-skating authorities did not make any public announcement as of press time, and neither did Burjan. Zhang told that the president of the Hungarian Skating Federation was expected to make a public explanation on Wednesday. 

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