The coach was found to have sexually abused Shim Suk-hee for over three years ©Getty Images

Former South Korean national speed skating coach Cho Jae-beom has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years for sexually assaulting double Olympic gold medallist Shim Suk-hee.

Cho was convicted by the Suwon District Court of sexually abusing and assaulting the 23-year-old on multiple occasions from 2014 to 2017.

He has also been sentenced to 200 hours of rehabilitation.

Lawyers for Shim, who went public with the accusations against Cho in 2019, have said they will appeal the verdict as they believe he should have been given a longer sentence.

According to Agence France-Presse, Im Sang-hyeok said the athlete "hopes that an appeal by the prosecution will result in more severe punishment".

Prosecutors had called for Cho, who had denied the allegations, to be jailed for 20 years.

Shim Suk-hee went public with the allegations against her former coach in 2019 ©Getty Images
Shim Suk-hee went public with the allegations against her former coach in 2019 ©Getty Images

The judge said Cho had "sexually assaulted and molested the victim for years" and "routinely raped and molested his underage students over the years".

Prosecutors claimed Cho sexually assaulted Shim 30 times in 2014, when she was a high school student.

They said he continued to assault her up until December 2017, just two months before the 2018 Winter Olympics opened in Pyeongchang.

Shim won the second Olympic gold medal of her career in the 3,000 metres relay event at the Games.

The court said Shim had "suffered serious mental damage due to continuous sexual violence from the time of childhood and adolescence".

Cho had already served an 18-month sentence for physically assaulting Shim, whose revelations prompted athletes in other sports in South Korea to speak up about the sexual abuse they have suffered at the hands of coaches and officials.