Medal ceremony for female boxers devolves into angry protest

India’s Laishram Sarita Devi, right, standing next to fellow bronze medalist Luu Thi Duyen of Vietnam, refused to wear her medal Wednesday during the women’s lightweight boxing medal ceremony at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
(Indranil Mukherjee / AFP/Getty Images)

A female boxer from India is facing sanctions after disrupting a medal ceremony at the Asian Games by placing her bronze medal around the neck of the silver medalist who defeated her in a controversial decision. 

Laishram Sarita Devi burst into tears during the ceremony and put her medal on Jina Park of South Korea, who promptly took it off and handed it back. Devi left it on the podium and walked away.

An international boxing representative at the Games -- held in Incheon, South Korea -- accused the Indian team of orchestrating the scenario and criticized Indian journalists for chasing after officials, shouting: “Koreans are stealing their medal.”

“It is regretful to watch a boxer refuse the medal regardless of what happened in the competition,” said David B. Francis, an AIBA supervisor.


Video of the match showed Devi staggering Park numerous times in the final rounds of what had been a close contest. Boos filled the arena when the decision was announced.

Speaking of her protest, Devi told CNN-IBN: “I could not stop myself.”

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