Angry Swedish wrestler ditches medal
A Swedish wrestler threw down his Olympic bronze medal on Thursday in Beijing and said he's quitting the sport in anger over his semifinal loss to the eventual gold medallist.
Ara Abrahamian discarded the medal he received in the 84 kg greco-roman competition after falling by a slim margin in the semifinals to Andrea Minguzzi of Italy.
Abrahamian took the bronze from around his neck during the medal ceremony, stepped off the podium and dropped it on the mat before walking off.
"I don't care about this medal. I wanted gold," he said.
Abrahamian, considered a contender for the title after taking silver at the 2004 Athens Games, said he was quitting wrestling.
"This will be my last match. I wanted to take gold, so I consider this Olympics a failure," said Abrahamian, who scored a 5-1 win over France's Melonin Noumonvi in the bronze-medal round.
Abrahamian was upset by the officials' decision to award Minguzzi a 3-2 victory in their semifinal bout.
The Swede shouted at the referee and judges, and had to be restrained by teammates.
Abrahamian later said he believed his loss to Minguzzi was "totally unjustified." The wrestler said his friends "called me just 20 minutes before the (bronze) competition, begging me to compete."
"I decided that I had come this far and didn't want to let them down, so I wrestled," he said.
Swedish coach Leo Myllari did not say if he intended to lodge a formal protest over the decision by referee Jean-Marc Petoud of Switzerland, judge Lee Ronald Mackay of Canada, and mat chairman Guillermo Orestes Molina of Cuba.