INCHEON, Korea—Charly Suarez tried to give his best parting shot to this city on Friday when he carried on his shoulders the failed bids of three other teammates who were robbed of their chances the day before in the 17th Asian Games.
Suarez had his final opponent all bloodied in the third round but still lost the men’s lightweight gold medal in a heartbreaking finale to the boxers’ bid that left them out of the gold medal column with just a silver and three bronze medals.
Those final punches that flowed crimson on Mongolian OtgondalainDorjnyambu’s left brow spoke well of the frustration by the Filipino pugs, though they somehow gave them a lift.
That silver earned from Suarez’s 2-1 defeat to his Mongolian foe raised the Philippines’ haul to one gold, courtesy of BMX rider Daniel Patrick Caluag, three silvers from boxing and wushu, and 11 bronzes from archery, boxing, taekwondo, karatedo and wushu.
Philippine Chief of Mission Ricardo ‘Ritchie’ Garcia sent a letter to Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah, requesting for a review of the controversial matches that affected the results of fights involving not only the Philippines but also Mongolia, India, Japan and others.
“I also spoke with Mr. Haider AHE Farman, the OCA Director for the Asian Games Department. We were encouraged to send the letter, as well as for the other countries to do the same. But we are not filing a protest, in fact we also just want the OCA and the AIBA (International Boxing Federation) to see our point,” Garcia said.
“Mr. Haider is also seriously looking at how boxing was managed,” Garcia added.
Judging in the boxing tournament of the Asiad was under fire from many countries who have lost their matches to Korean bets.
In the medal ceremony for the women’s lightweight, for instance, Indian boxer Sarita Devi broke down on the podium on Wednesday and refused to wear the bronze medal when it was awarded to her.
She only accepted the medal with a clutched hand and mockingly handed it to silver medalist Ji Na Park, who had defeated Sarita in a controversial semis bout on Tuesday.
Sarita is facing possible sanctions.
“It’s killing the sport! And with what is happening worldwide, when there are calls to stop the sport for being ‘dangerous,’ I think we all need to look for ways to make it fair and square,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s letter came after Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) Executive Director Ed Picson called the attention of Asiad Boxing Tournament Supervisor David Francis following the controversial 3-0 defeat by flyweight Ian Clark Bautista to Korean pug Choe Sangdon on Saturday.
“We are concerned that repetition of such decisions may send wrong signals and damage gains of the AIBA leadership under President Ching Kuo Wu has achieved in its avowed goals of transparency and fairness,” Picson wrote in his letter to Francis.
“We just want a necessary review and assessment of the matches to avoid disputed decisions in the future,” Picson said.
“We are not accusing any official, but there has to be moves to make judging more circumspect and focused,” said Garcia.
“Kung ano ang ibinigay sa akin tatanggapin ko,” said Suarez of his silver, a medal of better shine than the bronze medallions earned the hard way by Mark Barriga, Mario Fernandez and Wilfredo Lopez.
Mae Soriano defeated Cok Istri Aqung Samistrayani of Indonesia, 11-3, for the bronze medal in the women’s -55kg of karatedo.
Kirstie Elaine Alora, meanwhile, bowed to Seavmey Sorn of Cambodia, 6-5, in the semifinals of the women’s -73kg to save taekwondo’s fourth and last bronze.
Gay Mabel Arevalo is the last Filipino athlete to compete in karatedo today in the women’s -50 kg.