Cuban boxer Arlen López retains gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics
The winner of Rio 2016 defeated Great Britain’s Ben Whittaker in the final of the light-heavyweight boxing campaign at the Tokyo Olympics Games.
Arlen López came into this Olympic Games with the goal to retain the gold medal he won at Rio 2016. The Cuban boxer fought hard to defeat Great Britain’s Ben Whittaker in the final of the light-heavyweight final to win the gold medal. The boxer from Azerbaijan, Loren Alfonso, took the bronze.
The 28-year-old won Cuba’s fifth medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and he is now a double Olympic champion. Whittaker, who was making his debut at the Games, had to settle for the silver medal because during the fight he was not as intense as López.
Whittaker refused to wear his medal
During the ceremony, the Great Britain boxer took off the silver medal on the podium after losing to Arlen López and stood with his hands in his pockets as the Cuban national anthem was playing. After the ceremony he explained why he did that.
“I was doing it for everybody at home and I felt like a failure,” said Whittaker. “At the time, I should have put this beautiful silver medal round my neck and smiled because this is not just for me, it’s for the country.
“When I look back in a few years, it will probably feel like a great achievement, but I was so upset that I couldn’t enjoy it.” Whittaker was at least wearing his medal by then. There was no disgrace in defeat here, but a degree of dishonor in his immediate response.