Saturday, August 23, 2008
Cuban taekwondo athlete banned after kicking ref
"BEIJING (AP) A Cuban taekwondo athlete and his coach were banned for life after Angel Matos kicked the referee in the face following his bronze-medal match disqualification.
Cuban coach Leudis Gonzalez offered no apology for Matos' actions.
Matos was declared the loser for taking too much injury time after hurting his leg during the men's over-80 kg (176 pounds) match. Fighters get one minute, and Matos was disqualified when his time ran out.
"He was too strict," Gonzalez said, referring to the decision to disqualify Matos.
Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden. Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.
Matos won the gold medal in this division at the 2000 Sydney Games, dedicating the victory to his mother, who died on the day of the opening ceremony. At the 2004 Athens Games, he finished 11th.
Matos' tantrum followed a day of confusion on the mats.
Earlier Saturday, China's double gold medalist Chen Zhong crashed out in the quarterfinals after initially being declared the winner. It was the first time a match result had been overturned since taekwondo became an official Olympic sport in 1990. "
I think it's probably uncontrolable angst about the lack of tv coverage for his sport. I'm certain a TKD player, in a world where international ping pong gets more press, would be a ticking time bomb.
Posted by The Nerd-storian! at 9:25 AM