Cuban coach fumes at Chinese over "unfair" judo decision

Society Materials 14 August 2008 22:22 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - "These Chinese are sons of bitches," coach Ronaldo Veitia fumed.

The Cuban had no doubt that judoka Yalennis Castillo had been deprived of the gold medal Thursday at the Beijing Olympics against the Chinese Yang Xiuli due to an "unfair" decision.

Yang secured gold in the women's 78kg category by the narrowest of margins as she won the judges' vote 2-1 after her bout against Castillo was still level after five minutes of regulation time and the golden score period.

Precisely during the golden period, where anyone who scores wins the combat, the Cubans saw an action that according to them was koka.

But the judges disagreed, and the extra time ended level. The subsequent vote favoured Yang.

Castillo, 22, sought the first gold for Cuba in the 78kg judo category at the Games. The Caribbean country had already claimed two silver medals and a bronze in this sport, plus a further bronze in shooting and the gold that Mijain Lopez obtained Thursday in Greco- Roman wrestling.

The judges were "very unfair in this combat," a tearful Castillo complained.

She felt that she had been deprived of points that would have been rightfully hers.

"There were attacks that were koka and everything, and they said nothing," Castillo interpreted.

"I was hoping to get the gold medal, and it is a little bit hard," the judoka admitted with great effort to regain her cool.

Before Cuban television cameras, she dedicated her silver medal to her family and "to the commander," with reference to historic Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Of course, Yang was of a different mind. At a press conference that Castillo missed due to a doping test, Yang said she thought "the judges were fair."

The Cuban ended seventh last year at the World Championship in Rio de Janeiro in the 70 kg category, and she was competing in the new category for the first time in Beijing.

Despite his disappointment and his anger, Veitia tried to look at things in a positive light.

"For us this is fine, because we have outdone our expectations. In Athens we got a silver medal and a bronze. Now we have three silvers, and one undeserved silver (as well as a bronze)," the coach said of Cuban judo's general performance in Beijing.

On Friday another Cuban, Oscar Brayson, will be on the tatami in the 100 kilogramme category, but the coach is not very confident.

"You can see what awaits us and what has been set up here," he said, again hinting that manipulation is rife in Beijing judo.