London - The coach of Brazilian under-57kg judo fighter Rafaela Silva sprung to her athlete's defence after she received racial abuse on Twitter following her Olympic Games defeat.
Silva caused a stir back in her homeland on Monday when her angry retorts were picked up by the Brazilian media.
But her coach Rosicleia Campos spoke up for her fighter and showed AFP the contents of some of the messages she received.
"A monkey's place is in the cage and not in the Olympics," said one of the messages.
Another tweet read: "You're no better than anyone else because you're BLACK."
Campos reacted angrily, especially to the man who racially abused the 20-year-old.
"He's the one who should be put in a cage, only an animal could say such things," said the coach, a popular figure in judo circles.
"She's an Olympic athlete, she's having a brilliant career and she's a wonderful human being.
"What kind of a country discriminates against people over the colour of their skin? I'm not excusing what she did but I want to explain her reaction."
Silva had used a few choice words of her own in response to the messages she received but Campos said it was understandable given the disappointment she had just experienced, being eliminated from the competition for an illegal leg-grab.
"She was already disappointed about her defeat, she opened her computer to see what people thought of her fight and she saw someone calling her a 'monkey'. It was childish but human to react."