Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Star, European and World Champion finished second in Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, behind Linoy Ashram. This was the first time in 20 years that Russia didn’t win gold in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Olympic Games, both in individuals and groups.
This results were noticed as a “scandal and corruption” by the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation. On the other hand, International Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation carried out an evaluation of the scoring system in the past Olympic Games. This consisted on a post-review evaluation components in all the phases of Tokyo 2020. The conclusion was the confirmation that no bias or irregularities were identified in the judging panels.
Therefore, FIG published a statement about that the rankings and results of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games competitions in Rhythmic Gymnastics for both Individuals and Groups were fair and impartial.
Many judges received hateful messages through their social media, that were described as “utterly unacceptable” by International Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation.
Dina and Arina Averina were the top favorites for becoming Olympic Champions in Tokyo 2020. However, Linoy Ashram from Israel made history winning the first gold medal for this country in Rhythmic Gymnastics.
What do fans mean to you?
When we came back from Japan, a lot of fans were cheering us up in the airport. They are an important support, they write message to us after competitions, even poems. – Dina Averina said
Do you want to continue to Paris (Olympic Games) 2024?
First of all we need to rest, but who knows, we need a “revenge”. – Arina Averina said
Dina, how do you feel towards your results in Tokyo?
I feel sad, I wanted to become Olympic Champion. Linoy Ashram had a mistake with ribbon and I felt that I had an opportunity for gold. For the first moment, I think the judges were giving me low scores. My ribbon routine was clear and unfortunately it was not possible to win.
Dina, do you think that the gold medal should have been yours?
I think that my four exercises were without big mistakes. My consciencie is clear, I should have been the winner. After the last performance, the judges took more than usual to give my score. I understood that they didn’t want me to win this competition.
What were your words in the kiss and cry?
Dina asked to me if they were going to give me the gold. I just said “no”. – Arina Averina said
Do you have any injuries?
In 2020 I had a serious spine injury. I talked to my doctors and they said to continue for a few months. Anyway the solution was about surgery and I flatly said no. I didn’t want to miss the Olympic Games. This injury is very painful, even when I walk. When I start to warm up I feel pins and needles. – Dina said
Do you think about retirement?
If both of us had won Olympic Medals, 100% we would have retired. Maybe we would continue until World Championships (October 2021). Arina doesn’t want to continue and I have a serious injury in my back. We still need to think about it.
Do you think that other gymnasts are happy of these results?
We felt that judges were against us. They are tired of our victories. We have a cordial relationship with other gymnasts, but we felt that some of them were happy about this result.
Dina, do you think that the scores were fair?
I feel hurt, the scores were really low for both of us. The gold was for a gymnast who made a mistake with ribbon (drop). This was not fair at all. I just could not understand the scores. This time, I wasn’t paying attention to the total scores. Irina Viner Usmanova (head coach) said to me just before the last exercises: “Dina you have to fight until the end, you have still chances to win. Show how the real rhythmic gymnastics is.”
“Unfortunately, the miracle has not happened”
You were training for five years looking forward Olympic Medals. What are you going to do in the future, after these results?
We are not going to make a hasty decision. We need to think about our future. When you are dissapointed, you should not think about the future. We should wait and then, think about the future.
Summer Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were full of surprises. The top favorites for winning a medal were Dina and Arina Averina (RUS) and Linoy Ashram from Israel. Ashram could have never managed to win a major All-Around against the Russian twins, who seemed to be unbeatable. In spite of being third at the all-around qualification, Linoy beat Dina Averina in her last performance. Dina could not reach the score of 24.151 needed for gold medal.
GOLD: Linoy Ashram (ISR)
SILVER: Dina Averina (RUS)
BRONZE: Alina Harnasko (BLR)
“I just said to myself, ‘it’s a new day. What happened yesterday happened, just go to the carpet and do your best. I tried not to think about anything. I knew I could win a medal but I didn’t know which colour. Now it’s gold.”
Linoy Ashram (ISR)
The bronze medal went for Alina Harnasko (BLR).
“Overall, I’m happy about my performance, the last two days were very difficult for me […] and the finals were very emotional.”
These results generate a big discussion in Rhythmic Gymnastics social media, since some followers think that Dina Averina should have won the gold medal.
“I wasn’t expecting gold, but I was working hard. I knew I had a chance. I knew that if I did my Ribbon routine without any mistakes, I would be able to get a high score. But it didn’t happen.”
Dina Averina (RUS)
On the other hand, Bulgaria its first Olympic Gold Medal in Rhythmic Gymnastics. Since 2000, Russia were the reigning champions in groups. This is Bulgaria’s fourth Olympic Group medal in Rhythmic Gymnastics, (they won silver in 1996 and bronzes in 2004 and 2016). Only Russia and Spain are the only nations to have won gold in Group.
Russian gymnast, Anastasiia Bliznyuk made history, becoming the most decorated Rhythmic athlete. This is her third Olympic medal after Group golds in 2012 and 2016, and silver in Tokyo 2020.
SILVER: ROC (Russia)
With Anastasiia Bliznyuk, Olympians Anastasiia Tatareva and Anastasiia Maksimenko from Russia, earned their second medal.
It is already known by rhythmic gymnastics fans that the most popular twins in RG, Dina and Arina Averina are also best friends and rivals.
“We have a sixth sense. Our thoughts are the same many times. For example, we can just look to each other and understand what we want, without sharing a single word”
Arina Averina (RUS)
“We are already used to people asking our parents how to distinguish us. Our coaches and close friends are very good at distinguishing us. If you stay with us more than a week you could be able to find the differences between us. But actually, we are very different.”
“My new nickname is small dynamite!” – says Dina. “If I have a goal, I set myself and focus on how can I reach it. On the other hand, Arina is tender and calm.”
Arina Averina (RUS)
“When I am in competition, I don’t think about winning a medal. I just focus in a good performance. Of course, I get goosebumps sometimes.” – said Dina.
Just after Arina’s performance with clubs in World Championships Baku, Dina approached Arisha at the Kiss and Cry zone really happy. They looked at each other and both started crying at the same time.
“It was a mix of joy and fatigue. We couldn’t stop ourselves. I cried because of her. I can’t watch her crying, I automatically had the same feeling. I could not hold back the tears”- confirmed Dina.
Dina Averina (RUS)
“I was injured during European Games. I was very worried and I remember that I was watching the live streaming. Every minute I was refreshing the website, reading fan’s commentaries during Dina’s performance. Sometimes we could not be together. We need to know that we must know to compete alone.” – said Arina.
Arina and Dina will have new exercises for 2020 that will include higher difficulty, as Dina confirmed in an interview for Olympic Chanel.
Euskalgym is a unique show held in Bilbao, Dpain where the best gymnasts in the world are reunited for a magic spectacle. It is a tribute to gymnastics, designed for the delight of fans of this sport, elevated to the art category. Euskalgym is a massive event for the public to enjoy discovering the spectacular nature of gymnastics.
The event is held on BEC Arena, a huge exhibition area in Barakaldo which can seat up to 20.000 people.
Euskalgym started 14 years back in Basque Country, Spain as a small event for local gymnasts. In the last edition in 2018, more than 8300 spectactors crowded BEC Arena. This year, more than 6000 tickets were sold out in less than four hours. Curretly, tickets are sold out.
Save the date! 16th of November 2019 at BEC Arena, Bilbao.
Current World All-Around Champion, Dina Averina
Dina Averina (RUS)
World Champion in Ribbon in 2017, Aleksandra Soldatova
Aleksandra Soldatova (RUS)
Bronze medallist in European Championships 2018, Katsiaryna Halkina
Katsiaryna Halkina (BLR)
Current Vice World Champion, Arina Averina
Arina Averina (RUS)
Current World Championships Bronze in All-Around Competition Medallist, Linoy Ashram
Current World Champion in Hoop, Ekaterina Selezneva
Ekaterina Selezneva (RUS)
Current Junior World Champion, Lala Kramarenko
Lala Kramarenko (RUS)
Current World Bronze Medallist in ball and ribbon, Boryana Kaleyn
Boryana Kaleyn (BUL)
Ukrainian Senior National Team
Member, Honoured Master of Sports International Class, Yeva Meleshchuk
The Bulgarian “Golden Girls” Senior Bulgarian Team
Current World Team Bronze Medallist, Anastasiia Salos and Alina Harnasko
Dina and Arina Averina are the most popular twins in Rhythmic Gymnastics and they are currently World and European Champions. These are some facts about them:
We started rhythmic gymnastics because of our sister, Polina
Dina and Arina Averina have an older sister, called Polina Averina, who was also a gymnast. Once, when she came back home, she showed to her sisters her new skills and the twins were interested on going also to gymnastics school. Nowadays Polina works as a coach in Dubai and is three years older than Dina and Arina.
Dina and Arina were invited to live in Moscow and train in the National Sports Center, Novogorsk, because of their talent. They moved at the age of 13 years old. Their family continued living in Nizhny-Novgorod. In Novogorsk also live the gymnasts who compound the National Team, including groups, senior individual and junior individual gymnasts.
Our daily routine starts very early, at 7:30 am
They usually wake up at 7:30 am and have breakfast around 8:10 am. The next step is getting ready and work on the computer. This computer shows us our basal conditions to train. We have a break of two hours and then, we are back on training at 4 pm. They usually go to bed at 11 pm. In Novogorsk, the gymnast have the chance to visit the doctor, psychologist…
Arina Averina (RUS)
Our main goal is to compete at Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020
They support each other in every single competition. If one of them doesn’t succeed, then it is up to the other to hold up the Russian flag. At the beginning of the year, the gymnast that place from 1st to 8th position make the National Team. Those who reach the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position, will go to Grand Prix Series. But it is the main coach (Irina Viner-Usmanova) who decides the gymnast that will compete in every single event. They have a weekly control training, who is directed by Irina Viner. She also chooses the music and the main composition of the routines.
Vera Shatalina is the coach of Dina and Arina Averina, who also has the help of the main choreographer of the team, Irina Zenovka. They discuss together, with the sisters, which music and elements could fit better with the routine.
Dina Averina (RUS)
In some years they don’t want to be linked to gymnastics. They are not planning to become coaches either. Their main plan is to go to the University. They have really different points of view: Arina is more calmed and relaxed, while Dina has more strengh and nerve. Arina is the “angel”, while Dina is the “demon”
According to Russian Sports Press, Dina and Arina Averina entered the preliminary team of Russia at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, which will be held the first weekend of June in Spain.
The deadline for applications from the National Federations expired on May 4th. World Cup Guadalajara is the framework to place face to face Arina Averina and Aleksandra Soldatova, since it was clear that Dina Averina deserves to go to European Championships.
Dina Averina (RUS)
Russian press confirms that finaly is Arina who will take the position with her sister Dina.
Last European Championships were held in Budapest and became the first major start for the 19-year-old Averina sisters at a high level. Dina won gold in team competition and in exercises with hoop and ribbon and silver in the exercise with clubs. Arina Averina also got gold medals: team competition and clubs and ball.
In the other hand, Aleksandra Soldatova got second place this weekend in Guadalajara WC just behind Linoy Ashram (ISR) and ahead Arina Averina (RUS)