MOSCOW, October 25. / TASS /. Russian gymnastics world champion Angelina Melnikova told TASS on Monday that she missed the Russian flag and national anthem at the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.
Last Thursday, Melnikova won gold in the women’s individual all-around at the 2021 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Japan. Melnikova’s gold medal in the women’s individual all-around was the first for Russia since 2010, when Aliya Mustafina won that event at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam.
“I didn’t feel any embarrassment, but I surely missed the national flag,” she said in an interview with TASS. “I also missed the Russian anthem because I couldn’t wait to hear it standing on the highest step of the pedestal after such an important victory.”
The 2021 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan took place from October 18-24, 2021. The Japanese city is also expected to host the 2021 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships from October 27 to 31.
In addition to winning gold in the women’s individual all-around in Japan, Melnikova also won silver in the women’s floor exercise and bronze in the women’s exercise in vault.
Melnikova, 21, is the silver medalist of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the women’s team event. Participating for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, she is the winner of the gold medal in the team event and two bronze medals (all-around individual and floor exercises). Before winning gold in Japan on October 21, she had already won two silver and two bronze medals at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.
Due to the sanctions currently in force against Russian sports, the national gymnasts of Russia participated in the international tournament in Kitakyushu, Japan as a RGF (Russian Gymnastics Federation) team and under the flag of the RGF. Melnokova received gold for the tune of Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto instead of the national anthem.
Sanctions against Russian sports
On December 17, 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne in Switzerland partially upheld the previous decision of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) on a number of sanctions against Russian sport.
Following the CAS decision, Russian athletes were deprived of their right to participate in all World Championships, Olympics and Paralympics under the national flag of Russia and to the beat of the national anthem for a period of two years. .
The decision of the Swiss-based court also deprived Russia of the right to bid for the organization of all international sports tournaments for a period of two years. WADA’s sanctions will be in effect until December 2022.