RIO DE JANEIRO — Two Mongolian wrestling coaches, head coach Tserenbaatar Tsogtbayar and assistant coach Byambarenchin Bayaraa, stripped their clothes off in protest after their athlete, Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran, lost the bronze medal match to Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov. Mandakhnaran lost when the judges awarded a penalty point after the finish of the match.
As the match ended, it appeared Mandakhnaran had won. His two coaches sprinted onto the mat in celebration, one carrying the flag of Mongolia.
Seconds later, it was Navruzov and his coach who were celebrating after the judges awarded the penalty point.
The two Mongolian coaches then tossed a challenge flag, and when the judges explained to them the call couldn’t be challenged, they ran out onto the mat while Mandakhnaran dropped to his knees. As the judges attempted to wave them off, the two coaches stripped down in protest — one removing his shirt, and the other removing both his shirt and pants, leaving on only his underwear.
“The referees are no good,” said a visibly emotional Bayaraa through a translator, when asked why he had taken his clothes off. “There are 3 million Mongolian people, all waiting for a bronze medal. And now? No medal. Only (a few) Mongolian athletes come here.”
Security was brought in as the crowd started cheering “MONGOLIA! MONGOLIA!”
“All of the stadium was behind us,” Bayaraa said. “One hundred percent for Mongolia.”
Eventually security was able to escort the two coaches off the mat.
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