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Chinese question fairness of Olympic judges after Japan’s Hashimoto wins all-around gold
Published: Jul 29, 2021 12:38 PM
Bronze medalist Nikita Nagornyy of Team ROC, gold medalist Daiki Hashimoto of Team Japan and silver medalist Ruoteng Xiao of Team China pose with their medals during the Men's All-Around Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Bronze medalist Nikita Nagornyy of Team ROC, gold medalist Daiki Hashimoto of Team Japan and silver medalist Ruoteng Xiao of Team China pose with their medals during the Men's All-Around Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.  Photo: VCG

Chinese Olympic champions, celebrities and netizens are questioning the fairness of judges at the Tokyo Olympic Games after Chinese gymnast Xiao Ruoteng lost out to Japan's Daiki Hashimoto on Wednesday night during the men's gymnastics all-around, saying that the panel showed favoritism toward host Japan by giving the gold to the latter athlete, who they claim made several mistakes during the competition while the former made none. 

On Wednesday night, Xiao lost the gold to 19-year-old winner Hashimoto by falling 0.4 of a point short of the latter's 88.465. Russian Nikita Nagornyy took the bronze.  

"Our country doesn't need a gold medal to prove China's rise, but our athletes do," said Yang Wei, the all-around champion at the 2008 Beijing Games on Sina Weibo after Xiao lost the competition. 

"Still we are proud of Xiao Ruoteng, who showed his incredible strength and power!"

"Congratulations to Team China for winning the all-around silver medal," Li Xiaopeng, another Beijing Olympics gymnastics champion, posted on Sina Weibo, adding that he had "seen through" the game.

The low score given to Xiao sparked a wave of dissatisfaction among Chinese netizens and even celebrities, such as pop star Huang Zitao, who said they felt anger over the judges' "deliberate blindness" toward the flaws in Hashimoto's performance and the low score given to Xiao, who they felt clearly outperformed the Japanese competition. According to reports, the final scores even elicited boos from the media present within the Ariake arena. 

Xiao congratulated both Hashimoto and Nagelny after the game, Ye Zhenann, deputy leader of Chinese Gymnastics Team, told the People's Daily on Wednesday night.

When talking about the 0.4 gap between the two, Ye said that "Xiao Ruoteng was deducted 0.3 points as he did not stand at attention to judges to indicate his  movement had finished." 

"I don't feel sorry for losing the game, but this Olympics ruined the dream of our athletes, it killed all of their efforts," one netizen said in a post that received numerous likes.

Global Times
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