'I want revenge': Russian rhythmic gymnast jilted by judges in Tokyo wants payback in Paris
Russian gymnast Dina Averina, who was denied gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics despite Israeli eventual winner Linoy Ashram dropping her ribbon in her routine, has said she is ready to take revenge at the Paris 2024 Games.
For the first time since 1996 a Russian rhythmic gymnast did not take home Olympic gold in the individual all-round competition as a distraught Dina finished on 107.650, behind Ashram on 107.800 despite the mishap from her Israeli counterpart seemingly going unpunished by the judges in Tokyo.
Nevertheless, Dina has been inspired by the support from Russian fans and had inspiration instilled in her by listening to the Russian national anthem - both of which were banned at the recent Games - since her recent homecoming from Japan.
"After they met us with the flag yesterday, with the national anthem, so many fans came, which actually supported us and every time wrote after our performance and sent videos with words of support, even wrote poems," Dina said, the state-run Channel One, which broadcast the Olympics in Russia, reported.
"Of course, after that you want to carry on and make people happy, not to throw your hands down and just keep moving forward. Everyone is awaiting for us to take revenge and go to Paris, and now we have the desire."Also on rt.com ‘Like doping or bribery’: Judges must’ve picked Israeli gymnast as winner BEFORE final, legendary Russian coach tells RT
Twenty-two-year-old Dina was odds on favourite to take home gold from the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Saturday, but could only collapse into her chair in an outburst of tears when Ashram was became the first Israeli woman to win gold at a Games.
Dina's sister Averina, who missed out on a medal altogether after finishing fourth behind Belarusian bronze winner Alina Harnasko, said she also has set her sights on avenging her sister in Paris in 2024.
"We won't take anything for granted yet. That desire is twofold after everything that happened, after we came home, and how we've been welcomed. We really want to continue," Arina said.