A brawl erupted between spectators, officials, police and competitors at the Olympic freestyle wrestling on Sunday after a close bout between a Russian and Belarussian athlete. As world champion Buvaysa Saytiev of Russia and Murat Gaidarov left the mat they appeared to exchange heated words and punches, triggering a melee that delayed the competition for several minutes.
The international wrestling federation (Fila) said the athletes and federations faced sanctions and a possible $10,000 fine. The two wrestlers have a long history of bad blood, and on Sunday Gaidarov walked off after their quarter final bout without waiting for the traditional raising of the winner’s hand.
A handful of self-proclaimed anarchists hurled molotov cocktails at police patrolling in central Athens early on Sunday but there were no injuries or damages reported, authorities said. No arrests were made and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
According to police, the attack was carried out at 0000 GMT at the tourist area of Monastiraki near the Acropolis.
Police had to release tear gas to push back the anarchists, who then retreated after throwing rocks and setting fire to trash cans along the road.
FIG considering neutral judges
Gymnastics officials are considering introducing independent judges after a spate of scoring controversies marred the competition at the Athens Olympics. In one of the biggest controversies of the Games, the international gymnastics federation (FIG) declared American Paul Hamm won the all-around gold due to a judging error. Three judges were suspended over the incident.
Thai’s ‘best’ reward
Thai lightwelterweight Manus Boonjumnong credits the support of his country’s king for helping him win the gold medal at the Olympics. “It was the blessing of his majesty the king that gave me the power to win the gold medal,” a joyous Manus said after the bout, referring to the Thai king, Bhumibol Adulyadej. “I will present the medal to his majesty the king when I get back home.”
The boxer has been guaranteed prizes and rewards worth at least 20 million baht ($480,000, euro 400,000) from the government and various private companies. But “the reward that he’s most looking forward to hold,” said his wife, Lek, “is his six-week-old son” presciently named Athens, whom he has not seen yet.