|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
South Korean rider dies in jump fall
December 07, 2006 19:59 IST
South Korea's Kim Hyung-chil died after being crushed by his horse in a heavy fall at the Asian Games equestrian event in Doha on Thursday.
In atrocious weather conditions, Kim's horse Bundaberg Black rolled over him after a fall at fence No.8 in the individual cross country event at the Doha Racing and Equestrian club.
Kim had a fine equestrian pedigree, his father Kim Chul-gyu competed at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and is credited with popularising the sport in South Korea. Doha was the younger Kim's fourth Asian Games.
Kim won silver at the last Asian Games in Pusan on the same horse, organisers said.
The 47-year-old, the 11th eventer to tackle the course, was attended to immediately by medical staff but was found to have no pulse, Games medical chief Dr Abdulwahab Al-Muslh told reporters.
He was taken to hospital but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 10:50 am local time, he added.
A clearly devastated Chung Hyun-sook, chef-de-mission of the South Korean team, said a decision on whether the Korean team would continue in the equestrian event would me made after a meeting of athletes and officials.
"I am in charge of making sure all athletes make it home safely," she said haltingly.
"My heart is broken."
Organisers suspended the 32-rider event, which was being staged on a 2,470 metre course containing 23 fences, until later in the afternoon, though it is unclear if it will continue at all.
News of the death was felt throughout the Korean team.
"All the Korean team are a little bit low, everyone's faces are downcast," said Ryu Seung-min, a member of Korea's table tennis team.
"There's been some tears."
Games spokesman Ahmed Abdulla Al Khulaifi said the thoughts and prayers of organisers are with Kim's family.
"I can assure you we will make all the arrangements necessary to ensure the body of the athlete is returned to his family in Korea."
Seoul-based Kim leaves behind a wife, seven-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter. His family would be arriving in Doha on Friday, Sook confirmed.
"It is a big loss for South Korean equestrian sport," Lee Jae-hoon, an equestrian official in Seoul, told reporters.
"He was the backbone of the sport [in South Korea]." Lee said. "We can't believe it."
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage