Gymnastics Tokyo Olympics: Aussie athlete fires back after governing body said ‘it wasn’t our night’


A top Australian gymnast who narrowly missed out on a finals berth at the Tokyo Olympics has hit back after the sport’s governing body declared it  ‘just wasn’t our night’.

Georgia Godwin was in finals contention right up until the final subdivision on Sunday night, when she was edged out by competitors from Brazil and Germany.

When the competition drew to a close near midnight, Gymnastics Australia released a statement which read: ‘Not our night tonight unfortunately’, revealing that Godwin and her teammate Emily Whitehead had ranked 37th and 44th out of the 80 gymnasts competing for a spot in the all-around finals.  

Georgia Godwin (right) and Emily Whitehead (left) were selected to represent Australian gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics

Due to sport specific rules which mean only two gymnasts from each nation can progress to the next round, Godwin was in fact just shy of progressing and will now act as a third reserve in the case of injuries before the medaling events.

Gymnastics Australia’s announcement has been described as ‘tone deaf’ by critics who argue both women actually had incredibly successful competitions.

Godwin herself responded to the post following the enormous backlash to clarify that both she and Whitehead ‘hit’ all four of the routines they each competed.

‘Tonight was incredible,’ she said.

‘We both hit 4/4, enjoyed every moment and fulfilled our Olympic dream. Thanks everyone for your support.’

When the competition drew to a close near midnight, Gymnastics Australia released a statement which read: 'Not our night tonight unfortunately', revealing that Godwin and her teammate Emily Whitehead had ranked 37th and 44th out of the 80 gymnasts competing for a spot in the All Around finals

When the competition drew to a close near midnight, Gymnastics Australia released a statement which read: ‘Not our night tonight unfortunately’, revealing that Godwin and her teammate Emily Whitehead had ranked 37th and 44th out of the 80 gymnasts competing for a spot in the All Around finals

Godwin herself responded to the post following the enormous backlash to clarify that both she and Whitehead 'hit' all four of the routines they each competed. Pictured: Godwin on beam

Godwin herself responded to the post following the enormous backlash to clarify that both she and Whitehead ‘hit’ all four of the routines they each competed. Pictured: Godwin on beam

'Tonight was incredible,' Godwin said. 'We both hit 4/4, enjoyed every moment and fulfilled our Olympic dream. Thanks everyone for your support.'

‘Tonight was incredible,’ Godwin said. ‘We both hit 4/4, enjoyed every moment and fulfilled our Olympic dream. Thanks everyone for your support.’

The 23-year-old’s diplomatic response was lauded by fans who assured her she’d done her nation proud and been a great inspiration ‘for young gymnasts everywhere’.

Backlash from the original post prompted Gymnastics Australia to amend their statement late on Monday morning, instead congratulating the women on their achievements.

‘It WAS their night,’ one fan said. ‘Georgia and Emily deserve all the credit in the world and a governing body who are proud of them.’  

‘Please re-word your post, because the beginning bit sounds awful,’ another said. ‘It was their night, strong, beautiful performances that reflect their hard work and dedication to the sport.’

 

Gymnastics Australia's announcement has been described as 'tone deaf' by critics who argue both women actually had incredibly successful competitions

Gymnastics Australia’s announcement has been described as ‘tone deaf’ by critics who argue both women actually had incredibly successful competitions

Whitehead was ranked 44th after her first Olympic competition. Pictured: Whitehead during her floor routine

Whitehead was ranked 44th after her first Olympic competition. Pictured: Whitehead during her floor routine

Others suggested it was Gymnastics Australia’s responsibility to make sure athletes are competitive enough on the world stage.

They urged the governing body to ‘reconsider what it means to be an Olympian’ and to give both Godwin and Whitehall the credit they deserved.

No Australian women’s gymnast has ever medalled at an Olympic Games.

‘That is a terrible statement and you should be embarrassed to have made it… Show some support instead of just looking for finals berths.’

Ahead of the Olympic Games, preparations were impacted after an independent review into the culture of elite gymnastics in Australia was released.

No Australian women's gymnast has ever medalled at an Olympic Games

No Australian women’s gymnast has ever medalled at an Olympic Games

Georgia Godwin was in finals contention right up until the final subdivision on Sunday night, when she was edged out by competitors from Brazil and Germany

Georgia Godwin was in finals contention right up until the final subdivision on Sunday night, when she was edged out by competitors from Brazil and Germany

The report found coaching practices were harmful to athletes and created a cycle of abuse in some circumstances, noting there was insufficient focus on understanding just what could constitute child abuse and neglect within the sport. 

The report, completed by the Australian Human Rights Commission, made 12 key recommendations off the back of five key findings. 

In response, Gymnastics Australia vowed to overhaul the culture of the sport and implement all 12 recommendations.  

Tyson Bull, who is the only male athlete representing Australia in Artistic Gymnastics, has qualified for the finals on one apparatus, high bar.

He will perform on Tuesday, August 3, at  7.30pm local time. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Gymnastics Australia for comment. 

Gymnastics Australia amended the post in the wake of the backlash

Gymnastics Australia amended the post in the wake of the backlash

Tyson Bull, who is the only male athlete representing Australia in Artistic Gymnastics, has qualified for the finals on one apparatus, high bar. He will perform on Tuesday, August 3, at 7.30pm local time. Pictured: Bull competing on the parallel bars

Tyson Bull, who is the only male athlete representing Australia in Artistic Gymnastics, has qualified for the finals on one apparatus, high bar. He will perform on Tuesday, August 3, at 7.30pm local time. Pictured: Bull competing on the parallel bars



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button