South Korea's Kim Hyung-chil died after being
crushed by his horse in a heavy fall at the Asian Games equestrian event on
With heavy rain pouring down on the Doha
Racing and Equestrian Club, Kim's horse Bundaberg Black rolled over him after a
fall at fence No.8 in the individual cross country event.
In this image taken from television,
South Korean rider Kim Hyung-chil falls from his horse Bundaberg Black
during the cross country section of the equestrian three day eventing
competition at the Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, Thursday Dec. 7, 2006. Kim
Hyung-chil died after the fall in rainy conditions on Thursday. He was
The president of Korea's National Olympic (KOC) committee Kim Jung-kil
announced the fallen rider would be buried in the National Cemetery and receive
the country's sporting medal.
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
Kim Hyung-chil of South Korea, on
Bundaberg Black, jumps during the Equestrian Cross Country event at the
15th Asian Games in Doha December 7, 2006. Kim was killed after falling
off the horse. [Reuters]
Kim won silver at the last Asian Games in Pusan on the same horse, organisers
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 a.m. (0750 GMT), he added.
A clearly devasted 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
"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 were 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."
The vice president of the International Equestrian Federation Christopher
Hodson expressed his sadness at Kim's death but rejected suggestions the
eventing schedule had put too much stress on the horses.
"There is no reason to believe that any such factor was involved," he said.
"The federation has opened an investigation .... into this tragic accident."
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