Sensation at the Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympic Games. Russia ends its dominance after a quarter of a century

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Gymnastics – individual all-round – women:


Linoj Ashramova


107,800 p.


Dina Averinova


107,650 p.


Alina Harnasková


102,700 p.


Arina Averinova


102,100 b.


Borjana Kalejnová


100,625 b.

TOKYO. For the first time since Atlanta 1996, a modern gymnast from Russia did not become the Olympic all-around champion. The gold was won by an Israeli woman Linoj Ashramovawhen she triumphed over Russian super favorite Dina Averinova in Tokyo on Saturday.

Belarusian Alina Harnasková won the bronze. And as is often the case in the narrow and controversial circumstances of competitions where the judges decide, passions flared up too.

Ashramova she got 107,800 points from the judges and defeated the 18-time champion of the World Cup and ME in an extremely close fight by 150 thousandths.

The Russians wanted to confirm their form

After the announcement of the results, the Russian gymnast began to cry incessantly, and as she later admitted at the press conference, she was aware that her sister Arina had finished just below the podium.

She was separated 600 thousandths from the bronze of Harness, which is a noticeable difference in one exercise, but in the system of elements and creations that the girls performed in four sets with hoop, ball, pins and ribbon, it is a very close decision .

Dina continued to cry afterward, as the Averin twins’ grief stems, of course, from their five-year dominance, which they originally planned to end at the Olympics a year ago.

The pandemic extended the Olympic cycle and the era of the triumphant sisters continued, already slowly eroded by the efforts of other competitors.

However, at the European Championships in June, the 23-year-old “Averins” won gold together in the all-round and three of the four individual events, and in the all-round there is no other surname than Averinová in the first place of the past five regular World Championships and European Championships.

The brands caused controversy

Ashramová was among the candidates for a medal in Tokyo, she also has two gold medals from the European Championships, in individual equipment competitions, which did not go to the Olympics. From the World Cup, the Israeli has 11 precious metals, but not the most valuable, the 13-time world champion Dina Averinová and the 4-time world champion Arina did not let her stand on the gold pedestal.

However, Saturday’s game not only raised certain questions and mild controversies. Dina, who suffers from back pain all year round, received slightly lower ratings from the start (same in the ball) than Ashramovaboth practiced without major mistakes.

While the Israelis’ numbers for the hoop, ball and pins were usually significantly better than at the European Championships in June, it was usually the opposite for Averina.

Linoj Ashramová at the Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympics. (Author: TASR/AP)

But the biggest commotion was caused by the final ribbon, the fall of Ashram, and despite the mandatory deductions it was enough for her to score 23,300, which was only 200 thousandths less than in qualifying and half a point more than in the recent EK .

There, on the other hand, Dina triumphed in this device with a score of 24,700, but in Tokyo she only got 24 straight points for her impeccable performance and told the accredited media with tears in her eyes:

“I gave it my all and I couldn’t do better. I don’t think it was a fair assessment today and it was clear from the start… I got a lower grade.”

ROC is angry, Averina feels like a winner

“Of course I’m bitter now, I can’t remember a fundamental mistake, I practiced consistently and neatly, unlike Linoy, whose equipment fell,” added Dina Averinová.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), under whose flag Russian athletes start, also spoke. The twitter profile says:

“The whole world is witnessing this injustice”. And he adds Dina Averinová’s later statement: “My consciousness is clear. I am convinced that I have won.”

It is clear that, in the case of a normal date for the Olympics, a year ago, a situation that would question the subjective judgments of the referees would hardly have occurred. Dina excelled for years and had no competition in all-around at the World Championships.

This season, however, she has struggled with an injury that hasn’t stopped her from performing at the European Championships or the Olympics, but the question is why it wasn’t enough for the gold in Tokyo.

Somehow, one of the answers is also the vision for the end of the European Championships in Bulgaria in June, in the text under the title “Gymnastics-modern-EC: Russian twins received 6 gold medals and an Olympic memento” it is stated:

“However, Varna also gave the 22-year-old twins a warning signal for Tokyo. Although the Averin sisters broke out only after the 2016 Olympics in the main category of modern gymnastics, such as comets. The pandemic year 2020 thus robbed them of the very likely harvest of the medal championship and the climax of the Olympic cycle and when they are shifted a year, their competition in the Israeli, Belarusian and Bulgarian elite increased.”

Winners podiums in the individual all-around in modern gymnastics at the Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympic Games.

Places of honor in individual all-round modern gymnastics at the Tokyo 2020/2021 Olympic Games. (Author: TASR/AP)

Only one of the sisters left for Paris

Dina can now become one of the symbols of a cruel paradox in sports. Because she announced her end before the 2024 Olympics in Paris due to her health condition (she wishes at least her sister Arina would make it), she will never win the Olympic gold again, but she will probably still be there at least the World Championships in Japan in October.

It is certainly within her power to win multiple gold medals and rise to the top of the World Cup historical tables – as the greatest champion without Olympic gold. In October, she would have five individual competitions and an almost certain team gold.

Only compatriots Yevgenija Kanajevová and Jana Kudryavcevová are ahead of her at the head of the medal table. In the total number of gold medals, Dina misses the first place with four, she has 13 and won a total of 16 precious metals, only two less than the leader Kanajevová.

The former gymnastics superstar is even more threatened by Averinová in the historical order of medals of individual competitions – Yevgenija won 13 gold medals, Dina 11, and both occupied one of the podiums 14 times.

If Dina Averinová recovers from the deep disappointment in Tokyo, she could become the most successful modern gymnast of all time in October.

Tokyo 2020/2021 Summer Olympics

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