You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Bach dismisses 'hijack' fears as unified Korean team thrashed again

AFP  |  Pyeongchang 

dismissed concerns had tried to "hijack" the Pyeongchang today as the unified Korean ice team saw their hopes dashed after another heavy defeat.

On a day when strong winds caused a series of falls in the women's slopestyle final and forced the women's giant slalom to be postponed, Bach said he hoped the Games had paved the way for greater peace on the

Bach, who will visit after the Olympics, said the North's high-profile participation was a strictly sporting matter, playing down fears that the isolated country was manipulating the Games to suit its political agenda.

"This is about sport and this the IOC made very clear," Bach told AFP in an interview. "This is about the role of sport to build bridges, to open doors and nothing more.

"It's just a symbol for sport and it's a symbol for the fact that when you go over these bridges you can come to a positive result."

Later, the unified Korean women's team suffered their second straight 8-0 defeat -- this time against -- to end their chances of a medal, not that it deterred the ever-present North Korean cheering squad.

Koo Bon-Jae, a 20-year-old student from Seoul, said: "I was initially against (the joint team) but I was touched after seeing them on ice together."

North and marched together in the opening ceremony, while leader Moon Jae-in was invited to during a rapid round of diplomacy in recent days.

However, some South Koreans are sceptical about the sudden rapprochement, while US said was trying to "hijack the message and imagery" of

- 'Hurt because of the wind' -


Elsewhere on a busy day three, heavyweights won their first gold of the Games in the team figure skating, while the Olympic Athletes from took silver.

Germany's won biathlon's 10km pursuit for her second victory in Pyeongchang, before clinched the men's 12.5km pursuit.

won the women's 1,500m to become the first Dutch to win five Olympic gold medals, eclipsing track and field legend

And Norway's won a dramatic women's normal hill ski jump competition when she eclipsed German and Japan's with the last jump of the night.

But angry snowboarders lashed out at organisers after the women's slopestyle final was held in heavy gusts, causing nearly every competitor to take a tumble.

It came after the women's giant slalom, featuring America's Mikaela Shiffrin, was postponed until Thursday because of the wind -- a day after the men's downhill suffered the same fate.

While the was postponed, the slopestyle went ahead with near-farcical results, as after hit the deck including gold medal-winner

"The weather was bad and too dangerous," said bronze medallist Enni Rukajarvi, while Austria's added: "So many people got hurt because of the wind."

The (FIS) admitted that conditions were "challenging" but defended the decision to go ahead with the event.

"The nature of outdoor .. requires adapting to the elements," a statement said.

Separately, Japan's figure skating superstar took to the ice for his first training session -- which lasted less than 15 minutes.

The defending champion, who has been recovering from ankle ligament damage, suffered a scary moment when he slipped and fell as he departed, before getting up with a wry smile.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 22:05 IST