American figure skater cleared of 'stabbing' Korean rival in the leg

Figure skater Lim Eun-soo of South Korea performs at the 2019 ISU World Figure Skating Championships. Source: Getty/Stanislav Krasilnikov)

An American figure skater has been cleared of deliberately colliding into a 16-year-old Korean skater and stabbing her in the leg.

The incident happened during the final warm-up session at the World Figure Skating Championships in Japan.

Originally there were claims Mariah Bell, 22, purposely glided towards Lim Eun-Soo and sliced the back of her calf with her skate blades.

Lim clutches her leg in agony. Source: Twitter/@thelittlepicks

Lim reportedly had to leave the rehearsal due to severe pain, receiving emergency treatment from the medical staff and additional treatment from trainers of the Korea Skating Union.

She later came back with her leg taped and ended the competition, her first appearance in a senior world tournament, in fifth place, one ahead of Bell.

Lim’s agency, All That Sports (ATS), asked the KSU to lodge a formal complaint on her behalf.

An ATS official who witnessed the collision said there was enough ground to believe Bell’s act was premeditated, since Lim was skating close to the walls so as not to interfere with others, and Bell came from behind the South Korean to make contact.

Lim’s bandaged leg can be seen during her performance. Source: Twitter/@thelittlepicks

However, a statement released by the International Skating Union said: “Based on the evidence at hand at this point in time, which includes a video, there is no evidence that Ms. Bell intended any harm to Ms. Lim.

“The ISU met with delegates from both USA and Korea and urged both parties to find an amicable solution.

“The ISU maintains that this remains the appropriate approach.”

Mariah Bell (right) has allegedly been bullying Lim Eun-Soo for a while. Source: Twitter/@thelittlepicks

Lim and Bell train under the same coach, Rafael Arutyunyan, in Los Angeles.

This episode has drawn parallels to the infamous incident between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan in 1994, which saw Kerrigan being deliberately attacked to prevent her from performing at the Olympics.