BANGKOK – South Korean coach for the Thai taekwando national team Choi Young Seok broke his silence today denying that he physically assaulted one of the team’s athletes, Ms Rungravee Khurasa, as alleged.
Speaking to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency in South Korea, Mr Choi however admitted that he only slightly slapped Rungravee’s face and stomach but did not punch her as alleged.
He said that he had been coaching for the Thai team for a long time and knew that Thai people were not familiar with the way of his coaching. Especially for women, he questioned how could he punch her?
The Korean Coach has been under fire after Thai athlete Rungravee Khurasa claimed that the coach attacked her after she crashed out in the first round at last week’s Korean Open.
In an interview on TV Channel 3 on Wednesday, Rungravee claimed Choi hit her face once and then landed several punches on her body.
Mr Choi defended that he did not over-punish Rungravee and explained why he had to punish her. He said Rungravee did not know that the fight had started and her rival was already in the ring and she was almost disqualified and, therefore, he had to “teach” her a lesson in front of the other atheletes.
The victim and her family have demanded that Mr Choi publicly apologize to them.
However, the coach and his family have already left Thailand for home and it is not known whether he will come back to coach the national taekwando team or not.
The Taekwando Association has been trying to woo him back as many athletes and his fans in Thailand have shown him moral support.