Nurulhidaya’s Medal Hopes Dashed in Controversial Taekwondo Match at Hangzhou Asian Games
Hangzhou, 24th November – In a disappointing turn of events, Malaysian taekwondo athlete Nurulhidaya lost her chance to advance to the semi-finals and win a medal for Malaysia in the women’s Taekwondo Poomsae at the Hangzhou Asian Games. The match was marred by controversy as the referee allegedly added points to Nurulhidaya’s opponent, leading to Malaysia’s protest being dismissed.
The contentious decision came when the referee awarded 0.03 points more to Nurulhidaya’s Iranian opponent, Sara Soli. Both athletes had achieved an average score of 7.780 after two rounds, but the referee deemed Soli’s performance to be superior. The disputed addition of points resulted in Nurulhidaya’s defeat, leaving her just one step away from securing a medal for the Malaysian delegation.
Expressing his frustration, Malaysian taekwondo coach Jin Junfan protested to the technical director, only to have the protest rejected. Jin Junfan strongly believed that Malaysia had been unfairly denied its deserved medal. He stated, “I know where my opponent made mistakes. We have video evidence. I protested, but they told me that the result of the game cannot be changed.”
Jin Junfan continued, “They can only promise that if it is finally found that there was a misjudgment, they will take action against them [the referee]. The referee took the penalty of temporarily prohibiting law enforcement.”
The Malaysian coach expressed deep disappointment over the referee’s decision, asserting that it invalidated all their hard work, effort, and sacrifices. Determined to bounce back stronger, Jin Junfan vowed to continue training diligently.
Nurulhidaya shared her thoughts on the controversial match, highlighting the subjectivity of the Poomsae event and how judges often have their preferences. She believed that the scoring in the first round was unfair, stating, “The opponent’s score was higher than mine, and I felt like I didn’t make any mistakes.”
Reflecting on the incident, Jin Junfan revealed that he had considered protesting after the first round but ultimately waited until the second round. Unfortunately, despite outscoring her opponent in the second round, Nurulhidaya’s chances were ultimately dashed by the average score tie breaker.
Expressing her disappointment, Nurulhidaya commented, “If I successfully advance to the semi-finals, I can at least get a bronze medal, but I am just a little short. But as taekwondo athletes, we must accept this situation. Once your grades are determined, they cannot be changed.”
The controversial loss has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Malaysian taekwondo team, but they remain determined to strive for success in future competitions. They aim to turn this disappointment into motivation to come back stronger and continue representing Malaysia with pride on the international stage.