President of Mongolia Ts.Elbegdorj met with coaches Ts.Tsogtbayar and B.Bayaraa on September 4, after congratulating and presenting new watches to Olympic silver medalist D.Sumiya and Olympic bronze medalist D.Otgondalai.
The two coaches of the men’s national freestyle wrestling team staged a controversial protest on the wrestling mat after Mongolian wrestler G.Mandakhnaran’s loss in the men’s 65 kg bronze medal match at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. United World Wrestling has condemned their actions and the Mongolian Wrestling Federation stripped Ts.Tsogtbayar and B.Bayaraa of their rights to participate in any activities of the federation for two years. Despite these condemnations, the President warmly welcomed the two coaches and State Honored Athlete G.Mandakhnaran, and commended them for standing up for fair judgments and the reputation of Mongolia.
“I believe that it was right to protest against injustice, conspiracy, corruption, and so on. It’s not easy to promote Mongolia internationally among this fierce competition. Our athletes and coaches are well aware of this. Both of your actions became a signal, a warning, and a calling for eliminating injustice in sports,” he noted. “Mongolians must not have their reputation or achievements disgraced by others. We should be standing up for our rights. This is a struggle of the whole of Mongolia in advocating for fairness and justice in any sport. I’m very proud of our Mongolian coaches.”
In response, head coach of the national team Ts.Tsogtbaatar spoke about the first time he swore to devote himself to Mongolia, when he served in the military. He pointed out that bribing others for a medal was wrong, and especially degrading to those pouring everything they have into winning a medal.
“Besides the pair of you, there are countless coaches and athletes from many countries who were frustrated with unjust judging. The two of you were able to express that… We never comply with injustice or corruption, whether it’s locally or internationally,” President Ts.Elbegdorj said.
At the end of their meeting, President Ts.Elbegdorj personally put his gift watches on the wrists of Ts.Tsogtbaatar, B.Bayaraa, and G.Mankdakhnaran.
Below is the full video of President Ts.Elbegdorj’s meeting on September 4.