Aussie grappler shows finger to crowd, gets disqualified
The battle of the big-boys in the final of the 96 kilogram Greco-Roman wrestling event started on an aggressive note. It ended on a high for India, but also with a show of very poor sportsmanship from Australian wrestler Hassene Fkiri. Saurabh Duggal and Siddhanth Aney reportUpdated: Oct 06, 2010 00:56 IST
The battle of the big-boys in the final of the 96 kilogram Greco-Roman wrestling event started on an aggressive note. It ended on a high for India, but also with a show of very poor sportsmanship from Australian wrestler Hassene Fkiri.
Fighting against Anil Kumar, Fkiri looked hassled from the start. It appeared as though the strategy for the Indian team was to get under his skin. It worked right at the end of round one, and Fkiri picked up his first penalty.
He continued to get rattled throughout the fight, and at one stage even attempted to head-butt Anil. The big Indian sidestepped, but Fkiri picked up his third penalty. Despite this, the referee allowed him to play on, but when he decided not to step onto the mat for the customary declaration of the winner, and responded to the crowd's jeers by showing them the middle finger, the authorities decided enough was enough.
"He was disqualified on grounds of insulting the sport and all of FILA, and for indiscipline and unsporting behaviour," said Kartar Singh, secretary general of the Weightlifting Federation of India.
Kuldeep Bassi, manager of the Australian wrestling team, admitted his fighter was at fault. "He should never have lost his temper like that. It is a strategy in wrestling and is used often. I had warned him to stay calm, and he is normally a very nice guy, so I don't know what happened.
"The Indian wrestler was in much better shape than him, he should have realised that and been happy with silver. Instead he lashed out, and what looked like a good day for us has ended on a very poor note," Bassi added.
First Published: Oct 06, 2010 00:54 IST