Furious Mongolian coaches strip off in protest over bronze medal wrestling reversal
Two Mongolian coaches stripped off and hurled their shoes in protest on Sunday after their wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig was denied victory for running away from his Uzbek opponent in the dying seconds of their bronze medal contest.
Ganzorig, leading Ikhtiyor Navruzov by seven points to six, taunted his opponent by dancing around him in the last 18 seconds of their 65kg match and was then carried around the ring in triumph by one of his coaches.
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But the judges then adjusted the score to 7-7, penalising the Mongolian for “fleeing the hold”, or refusing to engage with his opponent.
Ganzorig crouched head down on the mat in disbelief at the reversal as both coaches advanced towards the judges, stripped off their shirts and shoes and hurled them to the floor.
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With the crowd erupting, one of them then took off his track pants and remonstrated with the judges wearing nothing but a pair of trunks.
“This was a protest. There was a problem with the refereeing,” said Mongolia coach Byambarenchin Bayaraa.
“Ganzorig won 7-6 and he lost because of this decision. This is the only time in history of wrestling with a point penalty.
“Three million people in Mongolian waited for this bronze medal and now we have no medal.
“A hundred per cent of the stadium supported us,” added Bayaraa.
Navruzov, the victor, celebrated by wrestling his coach to the floor and then kneeling on the mat as if in prayer.
“He tried to run [away]. This cannot happen. I have little respect for him and for his trainer,” the Uzbek said.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse