Ben Whittaker, who lost the men’s light heavyweight boxing final at the Kokugikan Arena to Arlen Lopez of Cuba, stored the silver medal in his pocket rather than place it around his neck & Refused to congratulate his rivals and appeared to be in tears after losing the final in a split decision from Arlen Lopez
As his name was announced in the arena in Tokyo, a sullen Whittaker stepped up on the podium reluctantly with his hands in his pockets and looked down at the floor throughout.
When he accepted the silver medal, he folded the ribbon neatly around it and put it in his pocket as the gold was handed to Lopez.
“I truly woke up this morning believing it’s my time,” Whittaker said. “And it just felt like a failure, so I just couldn’t celebrate the silver at that time and I don’t think I can just yet.”
After he left the arena, a team official whispered to Whittaker quietly and he put the medal around his neck before he met the waiting media.
Whittaker told reporters his gesture meant no disrespect to Lopez, who won his second consecutive Olympic gold medal.
“It’s his moment and I’d never want to take the shine away from him but it hurt me so deep and I felt embarrassed, truthfully,” he said. “A couple of years from this, I’ll look back and say ‘what was I doing?’”
Back home, the BBC Sport showed its support of Whittaker on social media, assuring the first-time Olympian he has “not let anyone down.”
Later in an interview, Whittaker said,”I later realised what I missed.I was doing it for everybody at home and I felt like a failure. At the time, I should have put this beautiful silver medal around my neck and smiled because this is not just for me, it’s for the country,”. He later posted a post on Instagram and apologized for his action and shows gratitude towards his support. Have a look.