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Suspension, apology insufficient to settle down WCBA's latest incident

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-12-07 11:11
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BEIJING - A college basketball player faces a five-game suspension due to her outstretched defensive move that led to an opponent's injury in a recent Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) match, followed by apologies made by her team and herself, but all these still could not quench the pity and anger by those people concerned.

With 8:54 remaining in the fourth quarter between the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) United Team and Jiangsu on Sunday, Jiangsu forward Sun Li landed on FUSC United Team power forward Gu Yitong's outstretched foot while attempting a shot, which led to severe injury in Sun's right foot.

The game was brought to an early end and the FUSC United Team was ruled to have lost the game 20-0 after they decided to withdraw from it.

An examination showed that Sun suffered an ankle dislocation, fracture and torn ligament.

A wave of criticism followed after the incident, as many people thought the injury, brought about by Gu's rash action in her defense, would pose a huge threat to the playing career of 26-year-old Sun.

The WCBA organizing committee announced the punishment on Monday evening. Gu was slapped with a five-game suspension and a fine of 5,000 yuan ($784), and the FUSC United Team was also fined 10,000 yuan.

In a statement posted on China's Twitter-like social platform Weibo, the FUSC United Team expressed its pain and guilt.

"Our coaching group together with Gu and other players apologize to Sun in the most sincere way, and we wish you a speedy return to the court," the team wrote.

Then came Gu's apology posted on social media, "It felt that the game was stagnated at that moment. I really feel heartbroken and accept the punishment," the player from Beijing Normal University said.

"I really don't want to see Sun injured, and I'm well aware of the extent of pain that an injury can have on a player. I would rather the injured one was not her but me."

Gu also hoped that Sun could accept her apology.

"Hopefully this tragedy will not happen on the court again, and Sun can come back as soon as possible," she concluded.

But the punishment and apologies could not extinguish some people's concern about the incident.

"Her career might come to an end due to your action," one netizen commented.

"Now that you are clearly aware of the consequence, why did you do that?" another one wrote.

In a video posted online, Sun was seen sitting in a wheelchair with a heavy bandage on her right foot, bursting into tears now and again while recalling the horrible scene.

"Whether she did it intentionally or not, she should have come and said sorry to me at the time, but she didn't," Sun said.

"I dare not watch that video again, as I would cry every time I saw it."

"If it was a severe injury, my career would come to an end. What would my years of dedication and persistence go for?"

Medical emergency in the venue was another widely discussed topic online after Sun's grave injury occurred. She had to wait around 20 minutes for the ambulance before being transferred to the hospital.

"I injured my foot. What if I had hurt my head? If the prime time for treatment had passed, who would have been responsible for it?" said Sun.

To prepare for next year's Universiade in Chengdu, the FUSC United Team is participating in the WCBA league this season but only competing in the regular season. They have a win-loss record of 6-5 so far.

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