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World short-track speedskating championships will be moved, postponed or canceled

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The International Skating Union announced Tuesday that the world short-track speedskating championships will not proceed as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Seoul’s Mokdong Ice Rink, where the competition was set to be held March 13-15, held the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships earlier this month but closed on Monday.

The ISU left open the possibility that the championships will be postponed or relocated, but the window to do so may close rapidly.

“Taking into account the uncertain world-wide development of the coronavirus, the limited and uncertain available time slots during the coming weeks and the logistical challenges of potential organizers and participating teams, a postponement and/or relocation of the Championships would be difficult to achieve,” the ISU said. “Nevertheless, a postponement and/or relocation of this Championships might be considered if the circumstances would allow so in due time.”

South Korea is one of short-track speedskating’s traditional powers. Last year, the country dominated the world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, winning both relays and taking gold in all of the men’s individual races. South Korea also led the medal count on home ice in the 2018 Olympics.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of many events in China, where the illness was first found. The world indoor track and field championships were pushed back a whole year.

With the virus spreading to other regions, other countries’ sports schedules are being affected. Several soccer games are proceeding in empty stadiums in Italy and Iran.

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South Korea set to host 2024 Youth Winter Olympics; North Korea could be involved

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic events are set to soon return to South Korea at some of the venues used for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

On the sidelines of the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, the International Olympic Committee will vote this week to approve Gangwon province as host of the 2024 Youth Winter Games.

North Korea is not currently part of the 2024 project despite earlier hopes of cooperation between the neighboring countries.

The fourth edition of the Winter Youth Olympics would be the first held outside Europe. Austria and Norway hosted previous editions.

The South Korean proposal includes the cities of PyeongChang and Gangneung, which were the hub of the 2018 Olympics.

North Korea could yet be involved “if the conditions are right,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

The IOC executive board also agreed to add the new sports of baseball5, a street version of the game with five players per team, and wushu, a Chinese martial art, to the program for the 2022 Youth Olympics in Dakar, Senegal. Those Games will be held from late October into November.

MORE: 2020 Youth Winter Olympics TV schedule

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World’s top short track speed skater banned after pulling down teammate’s pants

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Lim Hyo-Jun, short track speed skating’s world overall champion, has been banned one year after pulling down the pants of a male teammate in front of female skaters, according to multiple South Korean media reports citing the nation’s skating federation.

Lim, who earned South Korea’s first gold medal of the PyeongChang Olympics in the 1500m, pulled down the pants of a younger teammate at a national training center on June 17, according to Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea’s skating federation doled out the ban for sexual harassment after reviewing video of the inident and speaking with Lim and the unnamed teammate, according to the report.

Lim, who was dubbed a “virtual unknown” upon winning South Korea’s Olympic Trials, followed his PyeongChang gold by winning world titles in the overall, 1000m, 1500m, 3000m and 5000m relay in March.

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MORE: Decorated South Korean Olympian suspended one year