ARKIB : 12/07/2004
Waterpolo finals marred by ugly incident
KUALA LUMPUR July 11 - The finals of the Malaysian Open Water Polo Championship held at the Kuala Lumpur Swimming Complex in Cheras Sunday was marred by a shouting match between spectators and the Hong Kong team coach.
The coach, Benjamin Simonyan who was also the referee for the match was involved in an ugly shouting incident that threathened to turn into a scuffle with spectators.
The incident was triggered off during half-time when Hong Kong was leading 7-5.
Spectators who were not happy with Simonyan's decisions during the match, apparently hurled abuses at him and an angered Simonyan later went over to the terraces and confronted the spectators before throwing a water bottle at them.
The spectators then retaliated by rushing down to confront him and a shouting match ensued.
Fortunately, National Waterpolo Technical Chairman, Johnny Ting, intervened to cool down the situation and prevent any untoward incident.
According to Simonyan he lost his cool as the spectators were continuosly hurling abuses at him.
"They kept shouting every time I blew the whistle. Who are they to comment on my decisions. I lost my cool and acted on my impulse but realised it was wrong," he said.
When the match resumed Hong Kong went on to beat defending champion Kuala Lumpur seniors 14-9 to clinch the title.
The match was a repeat of yesterday's group match which ended in a 10-10 draw. Kuala Lumpur who put up a brilliant performance yesterday, simply had no answer to the superior Hong Kong team.
In the 3rd-4th playoff, Hong Kong Juniors beat Selangor 12-4.
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