Russia’s rhythmic dynasty collapses, Bulgaria wins gold medal

Tokyo-Russia’s Rhythmic Gymnastics Jaguar Note collapsed at the Tokyo Olympics, causing dramatic continuous losses and allegations of fraud in sports famous for sparkling costumes, techno remixes, and hoops that loop through the air.

Russia has won all gold medals in rhythmic gymnastics since 2000. But this year’s complete defeat began on Saturday. Israeli Linoy Ashram won a gold medal in an individual match, cutting off from the same pair of Russians of his favourites heading to Tokyo. Dina Averina came in second and her sister Arena fell to fourth.

Russia fell to second place again at the group tournament on Sunday, losing money to Bulgaria. Italy won the bronze medal.

“It’s so unrealistic that we can’t believe it. Bulgarian gymnast Stefani Kiriyakova said,” This is the happiest moment ever. “

The final of the rhythmic gymnastics group is a two-part competition for a group of five women. Part of ballet, gymnastics and circus, the event begins with the team dancing with the ball and moving on to the hoop and club set.

After the first routine, Bulgaria starred in a lively Bulgarian folk song called “Water Cosmos Earth”. Russians performed in traditional operas in pink, blue and gold costumes.

Group performances, each 2.5 minutes spectacle, are full of flying objects, and women are twisting and cartwheeling with each other, making it difficult for untrained eyes to understand their acrobatic complexity. .. Gymnasts often move like perfect mirrors of each other, like synchronized swimmers without water.

The team that won the Italian bronze medal is known as the “butterfly,” and gymnast Alessia Maurelli said they spent years learning to move together.

“We are the only thing, the only person, the only butterfly,” she said.

In the second round of group competition, the team throws and catches three hoops and two sets of clubs. Bulgaria played in a red corset-like outfit on the ballet Spartacus soundtrack. Gymnasts wrapped hoops around their ankles, spinning around each other and blowing windmills across the competition floor to be caught by teammates tens of feet away.

The Russians wanted the hoop and club to rotate and throw in perfect synchronization to advance their performance to another opera composition. At some point, three gymnasts bent their hips and their teammates rolled their backs.

However, when the score was displayed on the arena screen, the Russian gymnast cried and dropped his head when the Bulgarian won a shocking victory.

Bulgarian Rhythmic Gymnastics Team
Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics teams Simona Jankova, Stefani Kiriyakova, Madlen Radukanova, Laura Traets and Erika Zafirova have won the gold medal of the rhythmic gymnastics group at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in August. React. .. 8, 2021. (Nata Chapi Salenko / AP photo)

After the competition, Russian gymnast Anastasiia Maksimova cried, “We have very complex emotions. Of course, we have joy, but we also have sadness.” “We competed to the fullest, fought for the country, fought for individual gymnasts, fought for teams, and fought for coaches. We did what we could.”

The reaction to Russia’s hometown was cruel. The country is prohibited from using its name, flag or national anthem at the Olympic Games due to doping scandals. The athlete competes under the flag of ROC, which stands for Russian Olympic Committee.

The social media debate was full of conspiracy claims that undermined Russia’s medal numbers, with some lawmakers taking part in their own theory. “Everyone knew exactly what this meant and that Russia’s hegemony had to be stopped,” Irina Viner-Usmanova told RIA Novosti National News Agency on Sunday. ..

That night, when the Israelis won the individual sport, ROC President Stanislav Posdnakov asked the International Gymnastics Federation to investigate the review.

“Our staff and lawyers have already made a request and sent it to the leaders of the International Gymnastics Federation,” Pozdonyakov wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

Silver medal-winning 22-year-old gymnast Dina Averina also said she believed that the judge was not fair to her from the beginning of the competition when Ashram took control immediately after the competition. .. The post-Olympic photo she chose to post on Instagram, with her arms folded in a still dazzling red leotard and tight bread above her head, the moment she learned she had lost. I’m catching her standing with her frowns frowned upon.

She later conducted an emotional interview with the sports broadcaster Match TV. “Today, it’s painful and painful to have an injustice,” she said, saying Ashram dropped the ribbon near the end of the competition. This is a big mistake in sports. “I went through all areas more or less cleanly and properly and came in second. I was hurt by injustice, I support honest sports.”

Russian teammate Anastasia Bliznyuk, who was part of a group of five women, also said that after the tournament on Sunday, she would perform difficult routines without making major mistakes and would normally win.

But this time it’s not.

The winner, who brought back the money on behalf of the Russians, said they felt like they were in a dream.

“That means everything,” said Kiryakova. “We’ve put a lot of effort into the last five years. We always believed we were here, but it’s still unrealistic.”

Associated Press