Australian weightlifter headbutts Welsh athlete at Commonwealth Games village
The athletes’ village at the Olympics is known for escapades, many times involving athletes getting close with counterparts from other nations.
The Commonwealth Games took that representation to another level.
Australian weightlifter Francois Etoundi plead guilty Thursday to assaulting Wales weightlifter Gareth Evans in the athletes’ village dining hall the day before.
Etoundi, the 170-pound division bronze medalist, headbutted Evans, breaking his nose. Evans was fifth in the 137-pound division.
Things escalated after Evans’ girlfriend hugged Etoundi, congratulating him on his medal, leading to an argument, according to reports citing Etoundi’s defense attorney.
Etoundi’s punishment was to pay Evans $675, and he is not allowed to take part in the Closing Ceremony on Sunday.
It added to Australia’s issues at the Games. The nation is expected not to win the overall and gold medal counts (thanks to England) for the first time since 1986, breaking a streak of six straight Commonwealth Games.
Also, Australia’s track and field head coach was suspended and sent home after criticizing the nation’s biggest track star, Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson, for not attending a pre-Games team camp.