Ski jumping official Agnieszka Baczkowska has defended her decision to disqualify multiple jumpers from the mixed team competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Defending world champions Germany failed to qualify for the final after Katharina Althaus was disqualified, while Japan, Austria and Norway all had jumpers disqualified due to suit violations in the final.
Ski jumping suits have to meet strict measurement rules to ensure they don't function as wings in the air and give the athletes an unfair advantage.
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And while Baczkowska called it her "hardest day" in the job, she also stood by her decisions to disqualify the jumpers.
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"It was my hardest day in 10 years," said Baczkowska. "But I have to make sure that everyone has the same opportunities, because it's about justice."
But the German team has confirmed that all their jumpers were wearing the same suits they had previously competed in.
And Althaus was disconsolate over the first disqualification of her career.
"My heart is broken," she said. "Disqualified for the first time at 160 World Cups, five World Championships and three Olympic Games," said Althaus, who burst into tears.
"It's totally crazy. Three girls disqualified. Three professional girls, they always win World Cups. And we had no explanation," added Germany coach Stefan Horngacher.
But Baczkowska defended her decision, and criticized the teams for not meeting regulations.
"What should I do if someone jumps with a suit that is 10 centimetres too big? Please! You can see that with the naked eye," she added.
"I didn't think that this could happen at the Olympics. I assumed that the teams would prepare and take the competition seriously."
In the end, Slovenia won gold in the event, ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee team in second place with Canada taking bronze.
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