Moments away from his first Olympic medal, Mongolia’s Ganzorig Mandakhnaran missed out on the podium in one of the worst ways imaginable.
With a 7-6 lead over Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan in the final seconds of the 65 kg freestyle wrestling bronze medal match, Mandakhnaran began celebrating his apparent victory. The problem: one of Mandakhnaran’s coaches ran onto the mat before time had expired (two seconds early), resulting in Navruzov being awarded a penalty point that gave him the bronze medal. Mandakhnaran and his coaches celebrated, not realizing that they had actually lost the match.
Not realizing what happened until he looked at the scoreboard, Mandakhnaran protested the decision. But as was the case with the initial celebration, his coaches took things even further.
One coach began stripping off his jacket and shirt to the delight of the crowd, with the other doing the same (and removing his pants as well) after encouraging the crowd to cheer even louder. What a brutal way for an athlete to lose a medal, and in the case of those coaches it will be interesting to see what the consequences are for them.