India boxer refuses bronze medal

Boxing (File)
Boxing (File)

New Delhi - India's media and the country's boxing community both believe that L Sarita Devi was "robbed in the ring" by biased judges in her lightweight semi-final bout at the Asian Games in South Korea.

Local favourite Park Ji-na was declared a unanimous 3-0 winner of Tuesday's contest, surprising many in India, who felt Sarita had comprehensibly dominated the bout and should have advanced to the final in Incheon.

As soon as the result was announced, Sarita's husband Thoiba Singh launched an expletive-laden tirade at the judges, the Indian Express newspaper reported on Wednesday, referring to the verdict as a "Crying Shame".

Sarita lodged a protest against the outcome, which was rejected on the grounds that a boxer cannot challenge decisions.

"We will accept the medal (bronze) at the ceremony but are planning to return it as a mark of protest," Singh told the newspaper.

At Wednesday's medal presentation, Devi broke down in tears and refused to wear the bronze medal she was presented with.

The daily also criticised Indian officials at Incheon for not helping Sarita who, it said, had to borrow $500 to lodge her protest.

Several dailies featured a crying Sarita on the front page with Mail Today lamenting how she had been "robbed in the ring" by "biased" judges.

"The fact that all the three judges gave it to the Korean clearly shows the result of the bout was decided before the start," India's Cuban coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez told the Times of India newspaper.

"You can understand if such a thing happens in a close bout but this was totally one-sided and this is a poor advertisement for boxing.

"In fact, the Korean coach is a good friend of mine and he came and said sorry," Fernandez said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 9821 votes
Cricket
11% - 2623 votes
Football
19% - 4443 votes
Athletics
2% - 574 votes
Boxing
1% - 214 votes
Cycling
2% - 545 votes
Golf
5% - 1162 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1959 votes
Tennis
3% - 789 votes
Water sports
1% - 210 votes
American sports
1% - 293 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 748 votes
Vote