India's Sarita Devi lost her Asian Games lightweight (57-60kg) boxing semifinal against South Korea's Jina Park under controversial circumstances. Despite landing heavy blows on the local favourite, the judges chose to declare Park the winner on points, leaving Sarita visibly agitated and standing in the middle of the ring in utter disbelief. India later lodged an official protest with Amateur International Boxing Association's technical jury team after paying 500 dollars. (Day 11 updates from Asian Games)
Sarita and Park exchanged heavy blows through the first two rounds but the Indian was clearly powerful in the remaining two with even local fans silenced by her onslaughts. The judges' eventual decision though left the Indian boxer and the contingent shocked. "You f***king Koreans have stolen this medal," Sarita's husband Thoiba Singh was heard screaming as he got into a scuffle with security officials. Sarita too found it hard to control her emotions. "I kept my child away from me to train hard. When a player trains hard and something controversial like this happens, it is very sad," she told reporters later.
Mary Kom - who had previously won her semifinal bout - also supported Sarita. "Of course she (Park) won because she is Korean," she told NDTV.
Sarita Devi gets a bad decision in lightweight semis. Points system can be extremely dubious, judges clearly favoured the Korean #AsianGames— soumitra bose (@soumitra65) September 30, 2014
The final decision in the bout - with two judges ruling against Sarita - was booed by fans. The Indian bench looked angry as Sarita was certainly the better puncher and scored repeatedly in the crucial third round with straight punches on Jina's face.
Sarita was a medal hopeful after her Commonwealth Games silver earlier this year. The 32-year-old Sarita finished ninth in the 2010 Games in Guangzhou. India were clearly denied by some poor judging at Incheon.
Indian coach Sagar Dhaiya was left a disappointed man too.