Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram, who competed in the finals of the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games this past weekend, has managed to bring home the gold win and scored an upset victory over the three-time world champion Dina Averina.
However, this victory has in turn sparked controversy as many questioned the jury’s decision in the event. Ashram was said to have dropped her ribbon while performing her routine. This mistake raises questions for the public, especially the head coach of the Russian national team, who accused the judges of being biased.
— 𝓐lice 💎 (@Alice_cattani) August 7, 2021
During the event, Averina was placed second overall despite successfully displaying a seemingly perfect performance as compared to Ashram’s. “It’s a blatant [judging] mistake and a flagrant injustice, which has been planned in advance. A mistake that has nothing to do with clean sport. It’s the same thing as doping or bribing the judges,” Coach Irina Viner-Usmanova told RT.
Viner-Usmanova added that the mistake made by the Israeli athlete at the end of her routine didn’t qualify her for the gold because the mistake was overtly visible, yet ignored by the judges. At the same time, she also came to Averina’s defence who performed her routine perfectly and deserved to get higher points than Ashram.
I'm terribly sorry for #DinaAverina 🇷🇺 being robbed of the Gold medal in the #Tokyo2020 #Olympics #rhythmicgymnastics individual all-around. She was devastated 😢 about the unfair defeat to Linoy Ashram from Israel who had dropped her ribbon in the final rotation. #динааверина pic.twitter.com/GVlUvRhQ51
— Thomas Croy (@Croy_Thomas) August 7, 2021
“Dina Averina, who did this part of the routine flawlessly, had to receive a mark of at least one point above – that’s minimum – but she got just 0.7 points more, and then lost just by about 0.2 points,” the coach was quoted as saying. She further revealed that she “never in her life” had objected a competition’s results, but for this event, she filed three protests against the judges’ decision.
Calling the final results an “obvious judging disgrace”, Viner-Usmanova said the judges have embarrassed themselves by deliberately snatching the gold podium from the Russian athlete in an “unfair and most disgusting manner.” “They had to do it in some way, because Russian gymnasts have been claiming gold for years, and had to be taken off the pedestal by other means,” she claimed.
Линой Ашрам, к сожалению, сделала вопиющую ошибку pic.twitter.com/ondMDZdrh2
— Ученик Штирлица (@moments_Spring) August 7, 2021
Despite this, Viner-Usmanova said that she didn’t put the blame entirely on Ashram. According to her, the Israeli was simply chosen as a tool to dethrone the successful Russian gymnasts.
“Dina Averina will make history as the real Olympic champion, who performed honestly, but was taken down by judges,” Viner-Usmanova ended her chat.