Triathlon coach sentenced to 7 years in prison


After Ahn Joo-hyeon, South Korean triathlete Choi Suk-hyeon’s former physiotherapist, was sentenced to eight years in prison along with a fine and a seven-year ban on working with children and young people, the district court in Daegu now handed down further sentences in the case last weekend. South Korean triathlon coach Kim Gyu-bong will serve seven years in prison for abuse. The physical and verbal abuse had caused Choi to “make a fatal decision at the age of 22,” the Daegu court ruled. In addition, Jang Yun-jung, Choi’s team captain, and her teammate Kim Do-hwan, were sentenced to four years in prison and 18 months probation, respectively. “The defendants abused their power and verbally and physically assaulted Choi over a long period of time,” the verdict continued, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Choi Suk-hyeon took her own life in June last year after various federations ignored multiple allegations of abuse by the 22-year-old. Choi was seen as a great talent in triathlon in her home country. In 2015, she finished third place at the Asian Junior Games. Choi Suk-hyeon’s case does not appear to be an isolated one in South Korean sports, as shown by other trials in recent months. Most recently, the national short track skating coach was sentenced to ten years in prison for abuse.