Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan competes in the women’s gymnastics qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics at Ariake Gymnastics Center in Tokyo, Japan on July 25, 2021. Credit: IC
Experienced Uzbek gymnast Oksana Chusovitina picked up another narrow win in Baku, Azerbaijan as she is also set to compete in the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games in September after announcing another comeback.
Seizing a narrow victory over her competitors, the Israeli Olympic champion Artem Dolgopyat, and the Ukrainian Illia Kovtun, Chusovitina, 46, won the vault victory at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup on Saturday.
The eight-time Olympian had a legendary career in gymnastics where she returned at least twice after repeatedly announcing that she would be ending her career at two Olympic Games in London 2012 and Tokyo 2020.
“I had prepared for things to end here, but it’s impossible to be fully prepared to end your career,” Chusovitina said in July 2021 after garnering support from Tokyo venues representing the ‘Uzbekistan.
“I cried tears of happiness because so many people had supported me for a long time. They were tears of joy because so many people had supported me.”
Yet, just two months after her announcement, Chusovitina decided on one more goal for her career where she broke the news to continue competing for the Asian Games in 2022.
“I want to tell everyone that I have decided to prepare for the 2022 Asian Games… I simply cannot end my career without a medal for Uzbekistan,” she shared in a story. Instagram in September 2021.
On average, gymnasts tend to be the youngest in all competitive sports who often retire young as well, most of whom are in their late teens and mid-twenties due to its regime of intensive and very demanding training.
Still, Chusovitina has achieved a record longevity in her almost 30-year Olympic career since winning her first gold medal for the unified team in Barcelona in 1992.
Over the decades of her career as an elite gymnast, Chusovitina competed for three teams, in addition to the Unified Team, the name used for the sports team of the former Soviet Union, she also competed for the Germany and his country of birth – Uzbekistan.
Born in Bukhara, Uzbekistan in 1975, Chusovitina won her first-ever championship at the age of 13 at the USSR National Championships in the junior division, before being accepted into a higher division.
Since then, she has won two Olympic medals, the first gold in Barcelona in 1992 and a silver in Beijing in 2008, 11 medals at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, two at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cups and eight at the Asian Games competitions that it will seek to add. in Hangzhou 2022.
When Chusovitina attended Rio 2016 where she placed seventh in the jump program, the winner at the time, Simone Biles from the United States was 22 years younger than her, and even two years younger than the son of Chusovitina.
But for Chusovitina who believes in the sport, “everyone is the same when they get on the podium, it doesn’t matter who the winner is in their 40s or a 16-year-old,” she told the media after qualifying for Tokyo 2020.