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Bitter Sarita refuses bronze medal

India's L. Sarita Devi cries looking at a medal after she refused to accept her bronze medal during the medal ceremony for the women’s light 60-kilogram division boxing at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on Wednesday.  

A day after the jury’s controversial verdict denied her an entry into the final, lightweight boxer L. Sarita Devi again made news by refusing to accept her bronze medal.

There was a bit of a drama at the medals ceremony where Sarita, in tears, first refused to accept the medal.

A little later, after taking it, she walked around the podium, placed it around the Korean silver medallist Park Ji Na’s neck in whose favour the semifinal verdict went on Tuesday.

A stunned Park tried to give back the medal but when the Indian did not accept it, the Korean placed it on the podium and left. Sarita’s medal is now with the organisers.

“I didn’t deserve a bronze, I deserved at least a silver but they cheated me, so I gave it back,” said Sarita. “I am now relieved, otherwise, this bitter issue will torment me for long.”

Her husband Thoiba Singh said the controversy should open the eyes of the world body AIBA and boxing officials.

“Since we have made such a big protest about it, it will help people take notice of the issue and clean up boxing,” he explained.

“What surprises and upsets us is that nobody from the IOA, or anybody else, came to talk to her or even phone her,” said Thoiba. They even had to borrow some money to file the protest.

“The protest fee was $500 and since we did not have enough money, a journalist offered us $100 to pay the protest fee,” he said. Sarita now hopes to focus on the upcoming Nationals and the world championships.

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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 3:19:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/incheon-asian-games-2014-inconsolable-sarita-refuses-bronze-medal-with-organisers/article6464951.ece

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