Controversy: Indian boxer Sarita Devi loses despite commanding performance

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Indian boxer Lalshram Sarita Devi being consoled by her husband after she was knocked out of the 60 kg boxing semifinal bout against Korea at the Asian Games in Incheon on Tuesday.
Incheon, Sep 30: Indian boxer L Sarita Devi (60kg) today controversially settled for a bronze medal at the Asian Games after losing her semi-final bout against South Korea's Jina Park despite a dominating performance which left the home favourite with a bloodied nose here.

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The 32-year-old Indian was seen protesting outside the ring after losing a bout in which she matched Park blow for blow in the opening round and was markedly more aggressive and precise thereafter. Sarita, a former Asian champion, fell behind after a rather bizarre turn of events in which Park ended up being the judges' choice despite barely managing to stay in the fight.

The opening round was a close affair in which both the boxers aggressively had a go at each other but Sarita was distinctly better from the second round onwards. After losing the opening round, the Indian came back strongly and her right hand aggressively connected with the Korean's chin through a flurry of well-timed jabs.

Such was the Indian's ferocity that Park resorted to holding to slow down the pace of the bout after being left with a bloodied nose. Sarita got her due in the second round which the judges awarded her in a split decision but things took a bizarre turn from there.

Sarita's precision and her brilliant ring craft failed to find favour with the judges in the third and fourth rounds which went to the home favourite, who was struggling to stand up to the onslaught of punches from the Manipuri. Sarita was left in disbelief after the bout was awarded to Park.

PTI

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