Sarita Devi relents, accepts Bronze Medal
L. Sarita Devi, who had refused to accept the Asian Games Bronze medal at the podium in protest against the biased decision against her in the semifinals, finally relented and reversed her decision. She has accepted the medal after a hearing meeting between the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and India officials.
India’s Chef de Mission Adille Sumariwalla attended the hearing and expressed his regret over the podium melee. He described the incident as an emotional moment. As a result, the OCA decided to reinstate Sarita Devi’s medal.
In addition, Sumariwalla had asked for a review of the semifinal bout by an independent panel appointed by OCA. Sarita was robbed off the match despite being the dominant player in the ring against her Korean opponent Park Ji Na. Everyone was left shell-shocked when Ji Na was declared the winner. A delayed appeal by Sarita was rejected, as there was no provision to protest the judges’ verdict.
Sarita, who was heartbroken and cried bitterly, refused the wear the medal at the ceremony and accepted it by hands only. She later put the medal around the neck of Park Ji Na, who won a Silver medal in Women’s 60 kg Boxing. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) had hinted at disciplinary action against Sarita following the incident.