Tokyo Olympics: Greek commentator fired for racist remark about South Korean athlete

Jeoung Young-sik celebrates after defeating Greek player Panagiotis Gionis in Round 3 of the men’s table tennis singles competition

Greece’s state-run broadcaster has fired a sports commentator who made a racist on-air remark about a South Korean athlete competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

Veteran journalist Dimosthenis Karmiris made the comments after Jeoung Young-sik beat Greece’s Panagiotis Gionis in Round 3 of the men’s table tennis competition on July 27.

Asked about the skill of South Korean table tennis players, Karmiris commenting on the South Korean’s eyes said: “I can’t understand how they can see the ball moving back and forth.”

Hours after Karmiris made the remarks, ERT television said that it had ended its collaboration with the journalist, who was working as a guest commentator for the broadcaster.

The broadcaster posted a statement on its website several hours later saying: ““Racist comments have no place on public television.

“The collaboration between ERT and Dimosthenis Karmiris was terminated today, immediately after the morning show.”

Viewers reacted to the comments with horror online, describing the remarks as “unfathomable” and “absolutely ridiculous”.

Jeoung defeated Gionis 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-6, 14-12 to progress to the Round of 16.

The South Korean tenth seed saved seven match points in a row in a closely-contested encounter.

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