'Unjust': Russia explodes over Olympic gymnastics 'forgery'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Russian gymnastics star Dina Averina said the judging in the Tokyo Olympics rhythmic gymnastics was 'unfair' amid complaints about the scoring from Russian officials, politicians and celebrities. Pictures: Getty Images
Russian gymnastics star Dina Averina said the judging in the Tokyo Olympics rhythmic gymnastics was 'unfair' amid complaints about the scoring from Russian officials, politicians and celebrities. Pictures: Getty Images

Russia has unleashed a furious response to what they claimed was 'biased' judging which left their three-time world champion with a silver medal.

Israel’s Linoy Ashram won gold over the ROC's Dina Averina, marking the first time a Russian athlete has not won gold in the event since 1996.

'TAKE A BOW': Aussie high jumper's stunning silver medal display

PATTY FOR PM': Boomers break through for 65-year Olympics first

HUGE: Fresh fallout after Italian 100m champ's shock Olympic gold

Ashram won gold despite making a slight mistake in her final routine, prompting the head of the Russian Olympic Committee to declare they would lodge a complaint about the result with the International Gymnastics Federation.

Averina herself said after the competition she did not think the judging was fair, while a parade of Russian politicians and celebrities have spoke out as well.

"I don't feel that it was fair today and it was obvious from the very first apparatus when... I got a lower score, so I can't say that it was very fair," said Averina, who has been nursing a back injury since last year.

"I can't spot any obvious mistake that I did. I was pretty consistent and clean compared to Linoy who lost the apparatus."

Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation president Irina Viner described the result as 'egregiously unjust' on state media.

“Dina didn’t lose, she won. But unfortunately the judging was egregiously unjust,” she told the Kremlin-supported RT channel.

“It was simply a disgrace to rhythmic gymnastics.

“Enough, they got tired of Russia. And the judges decided to support this Israeli woman.”

It wasn't just sporting figures weighing in either, with the Russian foreign minister declaring the result a 'forgery' and accusing rivals of an ongoing 'war' against the nation's sporting fortunes.

“Those who started the Russophobic war against the sport could not allow this victory,” she posted on messaging platform Telegram.

Well known prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova also weighed in, describing the result as 'banditry' and 'unbelievably biased and unfair'.

Israel's Linoy Ashram ends Russian rhythmic gymnastics dominance

Ashram clung on despite a mistake in her closing ribbon routine to win with 107.800 points overall, just 0.150 ahead of Averina.

The 22-year-old becomes just the third Israeli Olympic champion in history, following in the footsteps of sailor Gal Fridman and Artem Dolgopyat, who won men's floor gold in the artistic gymnastics in Tokyo.

 She is also the first woman from the country to win an Olympic title.

"It's history," said Ashram. "I'm so happy and proud to represent Israel here on the big stage in the world.

"I knew that I could win, at least a medal, but I didn't know what colour."

Israel's Linoy Ashram poses with her gold medal during the podium ceremony of the individual all-around final of the Rhythmic Gymnastics event at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)
Israel's Linoy Ashram poses with her gold medal during the podium ceremony of the individual all-around final of the Rhythmic Gymnastics event at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

It is the first time a Russian has failed to win the event since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and is arguably one of the biggest surprises in the sport's history.

Russian gymnasts have also won 12 of the past 14 world championship all-around golds. One of the two times they missed out was in 2001, when Alina Kabaeva was stripped of her title after testing positive for a banned diuretic.

"I think it's pretty obvious that I'm a little bit upset," a tearful Averina told reporters.

Ashram, the 2018 world all-around silver medallist, was not expected to beat identical twin sisters Dina and Arina Averina.

Between them, the twins had won every major championship all-around title they had competed for since the 2016 Rio Olympics.

With AFP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting