Officials red faced after medal ceremony gaffe

2 months ago 23
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Tokyo Olympic organisers apologised aft Ukrainian athletes successful creator swimming were announced arsenic Russians astatine a medal ceremony.

"It was purely an operational mistake," organising committee spokesperson Masa Tanaka said of the mistake connected Wednesday astatine the Olympic pool.

The mistake is delicate due to the fact that of years-long diplomatic tensions betwixt Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian portion of Crimea was annexed by Russia during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.


Conflict betwixt Ukrainian authorities forces and Russia-backed separatists proceed successful the eastbound Donbas portion adjacent the shared borderline betwixt the countries.

Russian athletes Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko won the creator swimming duet contention connected Wednesday. The Ukrainian duo of Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk took bronze but were announced connected the podium arsenic representing ROC, the acronym for the Russian Olympic Committee.

"The French connection calling retired (of medalists) should person said Team Ukraine, nevertheless it said ROC instead," Tanaka said aboriginal successful Japanese.

Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk. (Getty)

Announcements astatine Olympic venues are typically done successful Japanese, English and French, which is the location connection of the modern Olympic movement.

"Of course, radical noticed that and the idiosyncratic successful complaint of announcements apologised," Tanaka said done a translator. "I besides utilized this accidental to explicit my apology to those who are successful the Ukrainian team."

More than 7 years aft the annexation, Crimea is inactive recognised arsenic Ukrainian territory successful planetary law.

At this year's European Championship, an outline of Ukraine's nationalist border, including Crimea, was woven into the nationalist shot team's jersey. Russian shot officials complained to European soccer's governing body, which allowed the representation outline to enactment portion asking for a slogan to beryllium removed from wrong the collar of the jersey.

European shot rules person prevented Ukrainian and Russian nationalist and nine teams from being drawn to play against each different for information reasons since 2014. Olympic athletes from the 2 countries routinely vie successful the aforesaid events, however.

During the opening ceremonial connected July 23, a Russian TV web chopped to commercials conscionable earlier the Ukrainian athletes entered down their nationalist flag. The broadcast returned aft the Ukrainian squad had passed.

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