Sopida felled by highly contentious decision

sports September 28, 2014 01:00

By The Nation

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Thailand's miserable campaign in boxing shows no signs of improving after Sopida Satumrum and Tassamalee Thongjan, their two representatives in the women's events, were sent packing yesterday - with the former falling victim to a highly-contentious decisi



Sopida was left in tears after losing to China’s Si Haijuan in the round-of-16 fight in the flyweight division, in which she looked to have done enough to win the bout.
In fact, the announcer at the Seonhak gymnasium announced that one judge had given his decision in favour of the Thai while two judges had ruled the contest a draw.
But the referee instead raised the Chinese’s hand, much to the bewilderment of the crowd.
The decision prompted the Thai camp to file a protest immediately but the organisers did not consider it, saying the result was beyond contention. 
The Thai team’s Cuban coach Omar Paragon said the Chinese won by a majority decision after a re-run of the vote by five judges.
“According to the AIBA’s rules, they would pick a random [score] from three results from the five judges. In this case, two of the three gave it a draw, leaving the result of the other [judge], who gave Sopida a win, irrelevant,” the coach said. 
“They then let the five judges decide the winner again, which required a majority decision. As it turned out, there were more judges who gave the Chinese the win.” 
Immediately after leaving the ring, Sopida broke down in tears as the painful setback dawned on her.
“I’m really disappointed because the first two rounds I believed I landed more punches than my opponent,” she said. “In the last two rounds, I took blows from her but my punches also found the target. 
“If I had lost because I couldn’t really box, I would have accepted it. But I’m sure I fared better than her.
“If they had looked at the number of punches thrown, or how I boxed throughout the fight, I’m sure I would have been declared the winner. 
“This is not fair because all of the effort I put into the training has gone to waste. I feel really down to go out with such a decision.” 
Lightweight Tassamalee followed Sopida out the door soon afterwards, slumping to a unanimous points loss decision to another Chinese fighter, Yin Junhua. 
Given the Thai pair’s exit in the women’s event, Thailand now have only three fighters left out of nine that started. One of those three, welterweight Apichet Saensit, was due to fight Timor Leste’s Edito Jenoveva in the men’s 69kg class late yesterday. 

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