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Anger wells up as Sarita Devi robbed of a gold

As the world gushed over Mary Kom earlier today for bagging the first Gold for the country in boxing and rightly so, another Indian Woman Boxer by the name of Sarita Devi was subjected to the worst nightmare an athlete could face after having performed brilliantly.
The judges have been accused of robbing her of a win in a bout that was dominated by her. Sarita was fighting in the lightweight category (57-60kg) semifinals against South Korea’s Jina Park. Earlier today, she broke down on the podium during the medal ceremony and refused to wear the bronze medal she had to settle for.

The Asian Games which are currently taking place in South Korea have been marred with accusations of blatanty being biased towards the host country, specially in boxing. Mongolian boxer Tugstsogt Nyambayar who also lost to a South Korean opponent and filed a protest regarding the decision.

What’s more disturbing is the callous attitude of the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) during the whole episode. Eyewitnesses present at the venue said that the Chief De Mission – contingent leader – Kuldeep Vats was present  for the bout but didn’t offer any help and left immediately after the semi-final.

In a shocking detail that emerged in an Indian Express report , Sarita Devi was made to borrow a sum of $ 500 from her coach and a journalist with the help of her husband to lodge an official protest.

“..the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) office-bearers chose not to involve themselves in Sarita’s case. Sarita did not even have the $ 500 required to lodge a protest with AIBA. Her husband had to depend on Sarita’s coach Lenin Meitei and an Indian journalist to pay the amount.” the Indian Express reports.

 One would assume that it is the  IOA’s responsibility to fund the required amount to lodge an official complaint. The IOA were unavailable for comment regarding the matter.

Defending  the IOA , the General Secretary of Haryana State Boxing Association  Rakesh Thakran said,”  Firstly the decision that was taken was wrong but there is a rule of AIBA (All India Boxing Association) that does not accept protest on own point decisions, they have this rule whether it’s a district championship or the Olympics. In cases where a referee gives a wrong decision, only then are protests accepted.”

Replete with anger over the incident social media erupted with posts in support of Sarita Devi :

The medal is presently with the organizers as she has completely refused to take it.


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