Russian freestyle star questions Beijing score in latest judging row
Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) freestyle skier Anastasia Tatalina has raised questions over the judging in the women’s slopestyle in Beijing after finishing fourth in the final.
Tatalina was awarded 75.51 points for her successful attempt, but it wasn’t enough to finish among the top three competitors, all of whom broke the 80-point barrier.
Germany’s Mathilde Gremaud claimed gold, scoring 86.56 points to beat China’s Eileen Gu by just 0.33 points. Big-air champion Gu bagged her second medal of the Games, while Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru settled for bronze.
Talking about her performance, Tatalina complained about the scores, which she thought were lower than she’d deserved.
“I think I was underscored today, and this is unfair. In the last attempt, I made a Double 14, no one did it today. The hardest trick, but I only got 75 points. Now we will discuss the situation with the coaching staff... It’s really beyond understanding, it shouldn’t be like this,” she said.
President of the Russian freestyle federation Alexei Kurashov shared Tatalina’s view on the slopestyle final outcome, adding that they would file an official complaint requiring an explanation for the athlete’s scores.
“We think that Nastia (Anastasia) Tatalina should have been among medalists today,” Kurashov said.
“Especially taking into account her difficulty and perfect execution of the program she demonstrated in the third run where she hit the most difficult trick. Of course, we are upset. Unfortunately, freestyle skiing doesn’t have a practice of filing protests, it can be done only in ski cross, not in other disciplines.
“We will make an analysis and there will be an official appeal from our side. We must not leave this unnoticed. We believe that Nastya was underscored. After that, athletes from the USA and China competed.
“The American athlete failed to cope with her program. China’s competitor had a good run, but Nastya Tatalina had a better one. And according to our coaching staff and the Russian judiciary, she should have been among the winners today,” he outlined, adding that they would continue to increase the difficulty of their athletes’ programs.
The Russian team was not the first to raise accusations of poor judging in Beijing, as the US snowboarding team also criticized the scoring at Olympic events.
Olympic judging in snowboarding slopestyle, halfpipe and big air raised heated debates among participants who were dissatisfied with what they called incorrect scoring.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Red Gerard of the US.
“There’s nothing they can do after they put the scores in to change it… You’re talking about, this is life-changing for some people, you know?” Gerard complained after the big air qualification.
A drastic error was registered in the slopestyle competition last week, when gold medalist Max Parrot of Canada was credited with a full grab of his board, while a replay clearly showed him holding his knee.
Parrot, who had returned to the sport after receiving treatment for cancer, finished first ahead of China’s Su Yiming, who took silver, and fellow Canadian Mark McMorris.