Asian Games gold-medal winner MC Mary Kom said though she is sorry for what happened with her fellow boxer L Sarita Devi at Incheon, nothing can be done about it and that she could have behaved better at the medal distribution ceremony.
Upset at her controversial defeat in the semi-finals, Sarita refused to wear her bronze medal and even gave it to the South Korean who beat her in the semis, which didn’t please the game’s governing body that threatened to take action against Sarita.
“We were very sorry for her [Sarita], but we are helpless, can’t do anything. It would be great if this [unfair judgement] does not happen in future,” said Mary Kom.
But Mary Kom didn’t support Sarita’s behaviour at the podium. “If she did not want to take the medal, it would have been good that she did not go for the medal ceremony. Little upset with her behaviour at medal ceremony. The judges did everything, the [South Korean] boxer did not know anything about this,” she said.
However, on her return home, Sarita offered an “unconditional apology” for her behaviour.
In a statement issued, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) said that the disappointed boxer has regretted her actions.
“The Head of the Indian Mission at the Incheon Asian Games 2014, Mr Adille J Sumariwalla, has forwarded to the President of the International Boxing Association, Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, a letter of apology of woman boxer Sarita Laishram Devi (57-60kg) who had refused to receive the bronze medal at the Award Ceremony for the 17th Asian Games,” the AIBA said in a statement.
“Mrs. Devi expressed ‘an unconditional apology’ for her ‘emotional outburst’ at the ceremony yesterday, writing that ‘I regret and apologise. Such an incident will never reoccur in the future’,” it added.
Her medal was reinstated on Friday after a hearing by the Olympic Council of Asia during which the Indian delegation expressed regrets over the incident.