Chinese skater Kexin Fan appears to trip Canadian Alyson Charles


Questions are being asked after a Chinese speed skater appeared to throw a marker under her Canadian opponent’s skate, which some say caused her to fall on a chaotic day on the ice in Beijing on Monday.

A viral clip of the moment blink and you’ll miss it has been viewed more than three million times within hours of being posted on Reddit. It was later deleted and then reposted on the social media site.

In the video, Kexin Fan, 28, may be seen reach over another competitor’s leg as a marker is thrown towards the left skate of 23-year-old Alyson Charles. Charles then falls.

“‘Sportsmanship’ Shown by Chinese Skater at Beijing Olympics,” the original poster titled the video.

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“It was slick shit, it took me about 10 watches to figure out what happened,” one user commented.

Others on social media raised eyebrows at the incident and Canadian sports journalist Rob Williams wrote an article for daily hive wondering if something bad had happened.

“Sabotage or accidental contact? he tweeted. “The slow-motion replay of this morning’s short track speed skating event looks suspicious.”

The incident occurred during group one Quarter-finals of the women’s 500m short track speed skating at Capital Indoor Stadium, the first race of the evening.

Kexin Fan appears to throw a marker towards Canadian Alyson Charles.Source: Supplied
The marker goes under Charles’ left skate.Source: Supplied
Fan and Charles both crashed.Source: Supplied

In a twist, however, it was Charles’ Canadian teammate Florence Brunelle, 18, who was penalized for tripping Charles and Fan.

Brunelle had earlier made an illegal late inside pass, making contact with Fan, earning his second penalty of the Games after another in the mixed relay two days earlier that dropped Canada in the standings.

“It’s sport,” said Brunelle in tears The Globe and Mail after the race. “By making mistakes, I will learn. I will arrive more ready for other competitions after having lived what I live.

Italian Arianna Valcepina, 27, and Canadian Kim Boutin, 27, qualified in the race while Charles was cleared to advance to the semi-final, where she finished fourth. She finished third in the B final and eighth overall.

Boutin, the world record holder for the event, won the bronze medal with a time of 42.724 seconds, Italian Arianna Fontana, 31, winning gold with a time of 42.488 and Suzanne Schulting, 24, from the Netherlands, winning silver in 42.559.

The women’s 500m quarter-finals on day three of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images
Kim Boutin and Florence Brunelle face off as Kexin Fan and Alyson Charles crash. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images
Kexin Fan celebrates victory in the A final of the mixed team relay on February 5. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFPSource: AFP

Fan has previously been embroiled in an on-ice controversy. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea, the Chinese team was disqualified of the women’s 3000m team relay final after Fan crossed and interfered with a Korean skater.

Canada was also disqualified in this event.

At the time, the International Skating Union took the unusual step of free pictures which were reviewed by referees resulting in penalties for China and Canada.

“During China’s last relay exchange, the active Chinese skater (Kexin Fan) drastically changed lanes from outside to inside, hindering the active Korean skater (Choi Min-jeong),” said the UIS.

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