Let’s pay attention to the expression “visible with the naked eye”. The layman’s naked eye is not the best tool for evaluating performance in a sport where subtle technical details are important, where not only the quality of performance is assessed, but also the complexity of the elements. And the programs of the new champion in all types were more complicated. The sports section of the same RIA soon after the release of Nikiforova’s angry article published opinion of the judge in rhythmic gymnastics Lydia Vinogradnaya from Ukraine:
“To be honest, it was the difficulty of the body that decided everything. According to the protocols, Lina Ashram’s advantage in this respect was enormous over the Russian gymnasts, and they could not overcome this difference even due to cleaner execution, including Lina’s mistake with the ribbon, and more complex work with the apparatus. And this difference occurred precisely in the fact that Linoy made other, more difficult turns.
And this difference occurred in the fact that before Linoy twisted a turn in the plate with a full stop, and received a maximum of 0.7 for it. And here – in the clubs there was a good angle – it was clear how clearly she twisted four turns on the half-finger, and immediately received 1 point. Immediately, her score increased by 0.4 in each form.
If Dina Averina’s maximum body difficulty in clubs was 4.8 (she was counted for everything she did), then Lina got 5.5. Immediately 0.7 in clubs only.
It’s not about performance, not about working with an object, not about artistry or even loss. For the loss she was removed, and the difference in performance is more than a point. “
In rhythmic gymnastics, the base score depends on the complexity of the program and consists of “body difficulty” (that is, the difficulty of turns, jumps and similar elements) and the “apparatus difficulty” (that is, throws, catch, hold). And if in the second of these components Averina was superior to Ashram, then in the first the complexity of the programs of the Israeli woman turned out to be much higher. There is a simple explanation for this: in 2020, Averina received a serious back injury, and she had to give up some of the most difficult elements. The sports doctor who treated her Dmitry Dzukaev even before the Olympic final told “Sport Express”:
“She felt a sharp pain in the lumbosacral spine during the runs before the tournament <the 2020 Russian championship, where Dina Averina took only 3rd place in the all-around. – The Insider>. But Irina Viner, the head coach of the national team, did not say a word. I understood that she would immediately remove from the start. <…>
As for the pain, for the time being it was strong, but in the background. It seemed that you could endure it, and after the tournament you can calmly take care of your health. All this time, Dina told the team doctor, they say, it’s okay, the injury will not interfere with going out on the carpet. Although the changes revealed on the MRI, raised concerns. But a course of physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory drugs, injected intramuscularly, slightly reduced pain. In any case, Dina categorically refused to withdraw from the competition. <…>
It was a serious challenge for us – to keep an outstanding gymnast in sports. After examining the MRI and assessing the degree of pain, I understood perfectly well that in 90% of cases, such injuries end in surgery. But first we decided to try conservative treatment. <…>
In an interview with reporters, Dina honestly said that due to an injury, she completely changed the exercises. The aesthetics, grace and complexity of the elements have been preserved. But the lines of movement are now such that they can level the problems with the spine. Unfortunately, they have not disappeared anywhere. We were convinced of this in October, when Dina came for a control examination. The point is in the initial pathology of the spine. Changes in the disks accumulated, and at some point an aggravation happened. “
Regrettably, the doctor exaggerated somewhat when speaking about the remaining complexity of the elements. Sports journalist Alexei Avdokhin published on Sports.ru a detailed analysis of the judging decisions in the final of the Olympic tournament. The complexity of the Ashram programs in all four types of the program turned out to be higher than that of Averina, and in the exercise with clubs – where Nikiforova’s naked eye saw a clear superiority of the Russian gymnast – the gap was a huge 0.7 points. In total, the base score of the new champion’s programs was 1.3 points higher than that of Averina, and due to the higher quality of her performance, it was not possible to win back this gap; as a result, Dina lost 0.15 points to Ashram.
As for Ashram’s mistake in the ribbon exercise, which, according to Russian propagandists, should have become fatal for her, but did not, the same Avdokhin points out:
“According to the new rules (they were adopted in 2017, and one of the developers was Irina Viner herself), such a mistake is not critical: if the item is returned to the hands without moving, then the penalty is only 0.5 points, if it takes no more than 1– 2 steps – 0.7 points (the Ashram is exactly within this framework) and only when 3 steps or more – one point. “
At the 2019 World Championships in Baku Dina Averina dropped mace, but this did not prevent her from becoming the absolute champion, although her twin sister Arina, who took second place, avoided such mistakes.
And the pathetic beginning of Nikiforova’s article that the Russians “continued to win” in Tokyo and that dishonest refereeing was needed to stop them does not at all fit with reality: in the unofficial medal standings, the team of the Russian Olympic Committee was in fifth place (the most unfortunate result in the entire history ) and even if Averina won, she would not have been able to get ahead of the fourth-placed Britons.
Leave a Reply