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Manoj controversy dominates lean morning for India

Controversies continued to dog Indian participants' campaign in the ring with Manoj Kumar falling by the wayside after losing a close pre-quarterfinal bout and then crying foul.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2012 13:21 IST

It was a lean morning for Indian participants here on Day 9 of the Olympic Games, but controversies continued to dog their campaign in the ring with Manoj Kumar falling by the wayside after losing a close pre-quarterfinal bout and then crying foul.

The 64kg fighter came out of the ring and said he was cheated after the verdict went 20-16 in favour of his British opponent, Thomas Stalker, in a thrilling bout at the ExCel Arena in London late on Satuday night.

The 26-year-old Manoj fought well, but appeared to be distinctly unlucky not to get points, before exploding with his mouth.

"It doesn't look fair because he was going in one direction and the scores 7-4 and 9-4 to him don't justify that," the dejected Commonwealth Games gold-medallist said.

"It doesn't look like an Olympic Games but more like a district competition because if it's Great Britain in the ring, it doesn't matter who's against them. It's like a district competition where there's lots of cheating, cheating, cheating," he added.

India's Cuban coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez agreed that Manoj was robbed of victory as he should have got the verdict in his favour in the first two rounds as well as he fought in the same manner.

"The last round was 7-4 (to Kumar). Why not other rounds? All rounds were the same. It was very poor judging," he said.

On whether his boxer was "robbed", Fernandez said "I think so."

Stalker won the first round 7-4 and maintained his lead by winning the second round 9-5. The Indian then launched an all-out attack in the third and last round, which he claimed 7-4, but some debatable judging ultimately saw him leave the
arena disappointed.

National coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu said "My athlete was extraordinary. You saw for yourself what happened. Why don't you write what you want?"

The Indian authorities, however, did not lodge a protest against the verdict.

"It's a heartbreaking loss and the result was unfair but we will not protest because we don't want to be seen as bad losers," an Indian boxing contingent member told PTI.

The Indians have been on the wrong side of judging at the ongoing Games, losing a protest filed against Sumit Sangwan's
(81kg) close first-round exit.

Later, Vikas Krishan (69kg) was ousted despite being declared a winner initially after his American opponent won an appeal against his triumph.

The matter is now in the Court of Arbitration but the chances of anything happening in the Indian's favour appear remote ahead of the last-eight stage starting Tuesday.

Indian trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu commenced his campaign in the two-day event, comprising 75 shots on the first day and 50 tomorrow.

Incidentally, two of the three medals won by India have come from the Royal Artillery Barracks, venue of the shooting
competitions, and the third - a bronze - was claimed by ace woman shuttler Saina Nehwal.

India's five-time world boxing champion MC Mary Kom is set to start her bid to join Saina as the third woman Olympic medallist later today when she takes on Poland's Karolina Michalczuk in the 51kg bout.

The men's hockey team, which has lost its first three group matches to go out of semifinal reckoning, is to take on South Korea in their penultimate group fixture.