January 29, 2018 10:32
Speed skater Noh Seon-yeong is now expected to compete at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after initially been declared ineligible.
The International Skating Union last Friday notified the Korea Skating Union that one more spot in the women's 1,500-m speed skating had been allotted to Korea as a result of changes in athlete eligibility.
In the event, the top 32-ranked athletes qualify for the Olympics based on the first four ISU World Cup series results, with each country limited to maximum of three entries.
However, two Russian skaters, Yekaterina Shikhova and Yuliya Skokova, reportedly did not make the IOC's list of Olympic athletes from Russia. The IOC banned Russia from the Pyeongchang Olympics over a state-sponsored doping scandal and only granted leniency to individual athletes not suspected of doping.
Consequently, Noh, who was the second reserve, moved up.
Noh was supposed to compete in the women's team pursuit with Kim Bo-reum and Park Ji-woo in the Olympics, but the KSU belatedly found out that all skaters in team pursuit must also qualify for an individual race and had to remove Noh from the national team.
After she was discharged from the team last Monday, Noh strongly criticized the KSU for its error, and was very reluctant to join it again after the most recent turn of events.
But some persuasion from her coaches and an apology from KSU president Kim Sang-hang changed Noh's mind. "After much thought, I decided to wrap up my career in the national team without regret. I'll do my utmost to achieve good results. Thank you all for your support," Noh wrote on her Instagram account.
She resumes training with the national team on Monday.
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