Wrestler Arutyunyan Speaks Out Against ‘Unjust’ Final Match in Rio

Armenia's Migran Arutyunyan (right) and Serbian wrestler Davor Stefanek compete in the men's Greco-Roman 66-kg final at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on August 16, 2016. (Photo: Getty Images/Kyodo News)

Armenia's Migran Arutyunyan (right) and Serbian wrestler Davor Stefanek compete in the men's Greco-Roman 66-kg final at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on August 16, 2016. (Photo: Getty Images/Kyodo News)

Armenia’s Migran Arutyunyan (right) and Serbian wrestler Davor Stefanek compete in the men’s Greco-Roman 66-kg final at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on August 16, 2016. (Photo: Getty Images/Kyodo News)

YEREVAN (Armenpress)— Armenian silver medalist Olympian, Migran Arutyunyan, relayed to the organizers of the 2016 Rio Olympics that there was a “serious injustice” committed against himself during the final round of the 66-kg Greco-Roman wrestling match, according to a post on Arutyunyan’s official “VK” social media page.

Arutyunyan, 27, competed against Serbian wrestler Davor Stefanek in the finals on Tuesday, receiving Armenia’s second silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The bout ended in a draw, but Stefanek secured the gold medal on the criteria that he was the last one to be awarded a point.

“I don’t know what to start with but first of all I would like to thank those who did not avoid expressing opinions over my wrestle in the finals of Rio 2016. I am thankful for your enormous support. I feel huge support by my nation as well. Any professional sportsman dreams of appearing on the Olympic podium and listen to the national anthem of his country and I am not an exception.

I have been striving for the Olympic peak during my whole life. I have dreamt of an opportunity to struggle for a gold medal in Olympic Games and that long-awaited time finally arrived. I encountered numerous injustices on my way to Rio, but I had patience and did not react to them since I was looking forward to “Rio-2016.” And this time again a miracle did not happen. I was again deprived of the gold medal. That act depressed me and that’s why I was unable to pacify myself.

Will the world of sport keep a blind eye on this crime? Not only me, but many other were deprived of medals. I was deprived of the title of an Olympic Champion as Serbia or maybe other countries have a decisive voice in the sphere of wrestling. But I am proud to be an Armenian.

We are a small but a great nation at the same time. I would like to congratulate my friend, Artur Aleksanyan, for conquering a gold medal. He deserved that victory. I congratulate weightlifters Simon Martirosyan and Gor Minasyan for conquering silver medals.

I have no desire to offend the Serbian wrestler. He is not a bad wrestler and has a good defense. He will remember my name ever morning. Every time looking at the gold medal he will think that it belongs to me,” Arutyunyan wrote.

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4 Comments

  1. agosti said:

    We only hear that there was injustice … but what it was nobody wants to explain ..
    If there was an injustice then u have to explain what it was …where was the mistake ..?

    • Gh said:

      In a tie, the match is awarded to the last point scored. This rule is intended to prevent the wrestler that scored first from stalling the rest of the match. In this match, MA scored a legitimate offensive point by pushing his opponnent out of bounds in the second minute. MA then wrestled a very offensive match, pushing forward, and attempting multiple times to score a second point. He did this to avoid being called for stalling/passivity that would have awarded the Serb a point, the tie, and the win. Despite wrestling aggressively after the first point, the referee unexplicitly called MA for stalling with 1 min 3 seconds left in the match. Ironically, the referee is not allowed to call stalling with 30 or less seconds remaining in the match. Since it is very rare for a referee to call stalling after just a few seconds, the Serb was incented to stall because he knew he was extremely unlikely to be hit with a penalty. he stalled the remaining minute, got the tie score, and stole the gold medal. The crowd booed, the commentators were in disbelief, and MA was heartbroken. The wrestling world knows MA is the real champ and this includes the Serb though he may never admit it. It was as unjust as possible a verdict with the referee giving the match away.

    • Gh said:

      In a tie, the match is awarded to the last point scored. This rule is intended to prevent the wrestler that scored first from stalling the rest of the match. In this match, MA scored a legitimate offensive point by pushing his opponnent out of bounds in the second minute. MA then wrestled a very offensive match, pushing forward, and attempting multiple times to score a second point. He did this to avoid being called for stalling/passivity that would have awarded the Serb a point, the tie, and the win. Despite wrestling aggressively after the first point, the referee unexplicitly called MA for stalling with 1 min 3 seconds left in the match and awarded the Serb a penalty point. Ironically, the referee is not allowed to call stalling with 30 or less seconds remaining in the match. Since it is very rare for a referee to call stalling after just a few seconds, the Serb was incented to stall because he knew he was extremely unlikely to be hit with a penalty. he stalled the remaining minute, got the tie score, and stole the gold medal. The crowd booed, the commentators were in disbelief, and MA was heartbroken. The wrestling world knows MA is the real champ and this includes the Serb though he may never admit it. It was as unjust as possible a verdict with the referee giving the match away.

  2. G. Nishan Gerjekian said:

    I watched this match and believe a gross injustice occurred to Armenian wrestler Migran Arutyunyan. It seems like the decision for allowing the Serbian wrestler Davor Stefanek to receive a point for passivity was rigged or convoluted. If anyone should have received a point for passivity, it should have been Arutyunyan as Stefanek did nothing throughout the match offensively. He did not wrestle but defensively postured, so should have received a point deduction for passivity. The referee’s actions, in looking over to a judge, and awarding the point to Stefanek looked suspicious. It seems like the outcome of the match was rigged, fixed or even preconceived. This type of action by referees and judges is why there are doubts many times in the decisions of wrestling and boxing matches and is a travesty.

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