Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mongolian Athletes return from a successful Olympics

As many had hoped and expected and some had predicted, Badar-Uugan has gone on to win the gold in bantamweight (54kg) boxing on Sunday. Two Mongolian boxers made it to the finals, Badar-Uugan in bantamweight and Serdamba in light-flyweight (48kg).
Serdamba had to settle for silver, as his shoulder injury caused his corner to stop the fight early in the 2nd round of his gold medal bout against his Chinese opponent.

Badar-Uugan's gold-medal fight was something to watch, definitely an exciting match with the high-scoring boxer who had beat his previous 2 opponents 15-2, 15-2. Backed by a huge Mongolian contingent screaming their heads off, he easily dispatched his opponent 16-5 for the gold.

With 2 golds and 2 silvers, the 2008 Olympics is Mongolia's most successful participation so far. This puts us at number 16 in the top 26 for Medals Per Capita, with a medal per 749,020. Read more on this here.

All four athletes were awarded the Honorary Sportsperson title, and the "Hero of Labour" medals were also given to Badar-Uugan, Tuvshinbayar and Gundegmaa. Sounds awfully communist, this whole "Hero of Labour" award (a literal translation), which it really is as it was created during the communist era. Check out the Hero of Socialist Labour article on Wikipedia for basic info on these medals. However, our medal designs are different. They look-a-like-a-this.

Meanwhile, if you are wondering whether Mongolians had an all-out celebration on Sunday after the second gold medal win, they did. However, this time the politicians chose not to make an impromptu display of drunken joy. PM S.Bayar was seen on TV in Beijing congratulating Badar-Uugan after his win, while our President was at the Irish Pub in the city watching the match. That joint must've run outta beer that day.

Sumo exhibition-matches will also be held in Ulaanbaatar in the coming week. Once this post-Olympics celebrations and Sumo exhibition matches are over, maybe, just maybe, we will get back to sorting out the political mess. Meanwhile, we all enjoy our athletes' success.