A Malaysian athlete competing at the SEA Games in the Philippines was recently stripped of a gold medal and relegated to the second place amid protests over alleged biased judging.
Rhythmic gymnast Izzah Amzan had earlier been declared as the joint winner with teammate Koi Sie Yan on December 7 due to their tied points in the ribbon event.
However, a decision made by the technical delegate resulted in the 19-year-old being asked to return her gold medal.
The delegate reportedly decided to follow the rules from the world body (FIG) in determining the tie-break winner, but the reason for the decision remains unclear, according to Star.
Malaysia’s latest medal tally has since been changed from 41 to 40 the following day. A statement was also released noting that Izzah has been awarded a silver medal instead of gold by the technical delegate.
Amzan, who also won the gold in the tournament’s ball event, is still thankful for her silver medal despite the decision, reports World of Buzz.
“Everyone deserves to win because they worked so hard,” she was quoted as saying. “Rhythmic gymnastics is a subjective sport. We cannot do anything. It’s their (the judges’) job, our job as athletes is to do our best.”
Malaysia chef de mission Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin reportedly filed a protest in a bid to reinstate the gold medal on Monday.
“It was not an easy task, as it involved the image of the participating countries and they (PHISGOC) had accepted our protest, and I told them to re-enter the gold medal (in the medal tally) later today,” he told local media.
Megat Zulkarnain went on to say that Malaysia would bring it up with the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) if the issue was not resolved by PHISGOC.
“Through a meeting (with PHISGOC representative) this morning, I presented several clauses in the technical book and I think they understood and agreed. What we regretted was the (decision) made by the technical delegation (in rhythmic gymnastics competition),” he said, according to the MalayMail.
Feature Image via izzahamzan19