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2 Aug, 2021 13:51

‘I urge everyone to calm down’: Gymnast insists medal was not ‘stolen’ from Russian team after South Korea win ‘weird’ tie-breaker

‘I urge everyone to calm down’: Gymnast insists medal was not ‘stolen’ from Russian team after South Korea win ‘weird’ tie-breaker

Russian artistic gymnast Denis Ablyazin made it a hat-trick of silver medals in his Olympic vault career and admitted he was unsure why he lost to South Korea on a tie-break – but acknowledged that arguing "won't change anything".

Two-time world champion Ablyazin earned vault silver for the third successive edition of the Games, missing out by the narrowest of margins after finishing on the same number of points as Shin Jea-hwan, who was awarded the win for having the highest-scoring vault.

The Penza-born 28-year-old spoke of his pride at returning from two broken legs in 2019, helped by the Olympics being postponed for a year because of the pandemic, and called for cool heads after missing out on gold in agonizing fashion.

"My third Olympic final in vault and third silver after a very serious injury," the eight-time European champion in four disciplines said afterwards.

"So I'm very happy. Why was the Korean ranked higher? I don’t know for sure – it’s better to ask the coaches.

"My job is to jump. I urge everyone to calm down and not say that a medal was stolen from Russia. It won't change anything."

Frustrated fans questioned the decision. "Weird tie-breaker strikes again," said one, while another replied: "I think the International Gymnastics Federation chooses tie-break rules by throwing darts. Nothing else explains the stupidity."

Ablyazin had the added consolation of helping the ROC – the name Russia are competing under due to a ruling by doping bosses – to gold in the team event.

"It's crazy how Ablyazin always manages to peak on vault at the Olympics," observed one viewer. "Three consecutive Olympic vault silver medals but no world vault medals."

The defeat to two-time World Cup winner Shin was also Ablyazin's third straight loss to a South Korean in the tournament decider.

Also on rt.com American gymnastics superstar Simone Biles will return to Olympic Games action in the balance beam final, Team USA announces