The Russian authorities honored the medalists on Monday at a ceremony in Red Square
Russian authorities paid tribute to their medalists on Monday at a ceremony in Red Square that criticized the unfair treatment of some Russian athletes during the Olympics.
Addressing the athletes on the cobblestone stage, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “You covered the mouths of politicians. You defended your dignity and the honor of sports. You showed that a clean athlete is not afraid of conspiracies.” .
In Russia, the triple world champion, Dina Averina, was defeated by Israeli Linoy Ashram in the final of rhythmic gymnastics, something that has not happened since Atlanta 1996.
Averina, who was one of the guests on Red Square, this time did not turn the rabbis against the Israeli, although the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (COR), Stanislav Pozdnyakov, insisted on criticizing the judges.
Although the criticism has subsided with the passing of the hours, many in Russia still consider Averina’s defeat unfair and associate it with the desire to end Russian dominance by all means in rhythmic gymnastics.
During the games, the House of Representatives also had to come out to defend some of the athletes who had been criticized by their competitors for doping from the state.
In this regard, Lavrov insisted in statements to the press that Russian athletes “shined despite the obvious signs of prejudice.”
He added, “There was not much, but they were quite clear. We talked about clean athletes and all the members of the Russian team in these games were clean. But we also need … clean referees.”
One of the stars of the event was Olympic high jump champion Maria Lasitskene, who competed in her first Games after being unable to compete in Rio due to government doping.
Lasitskene, the triple world champion in the major, was responsible for raising the tricolor flag before all the assistants sang the Russian anthem in front of the Kremlin walls.
The Russian team racked up 20 gold, 28 silver and 23 bronze (71 medals), a better result than the House of Representatives expected – Russia added 56 in Rio four years ago – albeit not as close to its place in the medal table.
COR aspired to finish third, but had to finish fifth as it was overtaken, along with the United States and China, by Japan with 27 gold and 58 metals, and the United Kingdom with 22 gold and 65 medals.
Russia went to Tokyo with more than 300 athletes, but without the knowledge or the anthem due to the two-year suspension of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Instead of the national anthem and the tricolor, the champions of the Russian Olympic Games had to be confirmed in the Japanese capital with a neutral flag bearing the acronym ROC of the Russian Olympic Committee, and a piano tune by the legendary Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky. EFE
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