Taekwondo Athlete May Slightly Disagree With That Disqualification
by Ryan Hudson
You've spent the past four years of your life training for this one moment: a medal-event at the Olympics. You've sacrificed everything: sleep, family, food with taste, alcohol, girls. You've carefully measured the calories and fat in every meal, weighed yourself twice each day and spent more money than you'd care to remember on trainers and physical therapists. So how do you react when, during your competition for a bronze medal in Beijing, the referee disqualifies you?
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.
Matos was winning 3-2, with 1:02 in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan's Arman Chilmanov. He was sitting there, awaiting medical attention, when he was disqualified for taking too much injury time. Fighters get one minute, and Matos was disqualified when his time ran out.
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.
Wait, it gets better.
Afterward, Cuban coach Leudis Gonzalez offered no apology, and Matos claimed that the match was fixed, going so far as to accuse the Kazakhs of offering him money.
Something tells me this is not the ending that the IOC was looking for to the Beijing Games.