Sun, Oct 05, 2014 - Page 19 News List

Mongolia plans to escalate boxing officiating protest

AP and Reuters, INCHEON, South Korea

Women’s lightweight boxing bronze medalist Sarita Devi, right, presents her bronze medal to silver medalist Park Ji-na at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Mongolia will escalate its complaints about the officiating in boxing at the Asian Games, its chef de mission said yesterday.

“Our national Olympic body has decided to write a protest letter to AIBA [International Boxing Association] explaining the details of the contentious bout,” Badmaanyuambuu Bat-Erdene told reporters. “We’ll also take up the matter at future meetings of the world body and tell them that something is wrong with the rules.”

Bat-Erdene said his team felt cheated in the men’s 55kg category when Tugstsogt Nyambayar lost his semi-final on points to Ham Sang-myeong of host nation South Korea on Tuesday.

Mongolia made a brief sit-in protest and also complained officially.

“We were shocked by that decision and had made our point very clear. Boxing is an important sport for us, and so is every medal,” he added.

India also protested officially against a result the same day when L. Sarita Devi lost to another South Korean, Park Ji-na, in the women’s 60kg semi-final.

Both protests were rejected by the AIBA’s technical committee because rules do not allow any protests against the judges, although teams can object to decisions by the referee.

Bat-Erdene said he was concerned about India’s issue too.

“I’m happy that India protested and hope that countries who felt the jury was biased during the Asian Games, should also approach the AIBA for this,” he added.

Sarita had created a furor the following day as she refused to receive the medal.

In protest at what she called “biased judgement” for her semi-finals loss in the women’s 60kg class, a tearful Sarita went to the podium, but refused to bend down to let the medal be placed over her neck. She took the medal in hand, went across, and slipped it onto Park’s neck. Park tried to give it back, then left it on the podium.

However, Sarita tendered an “unconditional apology” after AIBA said it was opening disciplinary proceedings against her, after which she escaped with a warning.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said it was not impressed by her behavior at the medal ceremony, but decided to let her off with a warning after she issued an unconditional apology and the Indian delegation assured the OCA it had not planned the incident.

“We decided to give this athlete a strong warning,” OCA honorary life vice-president Wei Jizhong told a news conference yesterday. “We considered this had nothing to do with the Indian delegation. This is just a personal misbehavior of the athlete.”

“She feels sadness because she felt she deserved better, but she also killed the moment for the other athletes. I am happy she apologized and this will not happy again,” OCA president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad Al Sabah said.

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