Alina Harnasko of Belarus won the Rhythmic Individual All-Around bronze medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Belarusian scored an overall of 102.700 to finish third. Alina, trained by 1988 Olympic champion Marina Lobatch, placed behind Russia’s Arina Averina who made a mistake in her ribbon routine (102.100). Linoy Ashram of Israel secured the Olympic champion title.
After the awards ceremony, Alina Harnasko was one of the most popular athletes among journalists in the mixed zone. The Belarusian media also congratulated the athlete on her achievement.
“This is an incredible, unusual and very emotional day in my career! I am an Olympic medalist! I would like to note that there are reserves to develop further. We need to continue our training and eliminate all the shortcomings before the 2024 Paris Games. I am happy, but in my thoughts I am still replaying all my mistakes. Everyone had mistakes today in Tokyo. When after the third routine, the coaches told me that I had a medal chance, I decided that I will do whatever it takes to show my best in the ribbon event! Of course, the performance was not perfect, but this does not matter now. We won a medal!!! We all did it, because this is the work of our whole team. I thank everyone for the support, for the work. We will continue our training and make our fans happy,” said Alina Harnasko.
“The Olympic tournament is never easy. I am very pleased with Alina. I thanks God that our paths crossed. It is hard for me to explain the feelings I have right now. We did it and we reached the Olympic podium. I am even happier for Alina than for myself after winning in Seoul. I would like to thank her parents who introduced her to rhythmic gymnastics and her first coach, Irina Leparskaya, who believed that this girl can become a top gymnast. Irina Leparskaya believed in me too and gave me a chance to work with Alina. I am grateful to all the coaches, choreographers, because some teach choreography, others how to smile right. I thank many more specialists, our National Olympic Training Center, the leadership of the country and the sport sector for an amazing rhythmic gymnastic training center that opened in Minsk a few years ago. This is our well-deserved Olympic medal," Marina Lobatch said.
Anastasiia Salos placed eighth in the Individual All-Around final in Tokyo. The young gymnast noted the tough competition in Tokyo and welcomed the success of her teammate. She came to the mixed zone and, as a professional journalist, was recording the awards ceremony with the participation of Harnasko.
"The rivals know each other well from previous tournaments, but the Olympics are a completely different level and atmosphere. It's a pleasure to perform here, I'm happy that I advanced to the All-Around Final. Together with the coaches, we will analyze everything. They seem to be happy with our performance. And we will start preparing for the next competitions. Everyone is happy for Alina, everyone saw how tough the competition for the podium was. I think Belarusian gymnastics will remember this day for a long time," Anastasiia Salos said.
President of Belarus’ NOC Viktor Lukashenko congratulated Alina Harnasko on the bronze medal of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo
"Dear Alina! I extend my warmest congratulations on your high achievement - the bronze medal of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The ingredients of your success are hard work, grit, self-confidence, a huge will to win and, of course, the support of coaches, family and friends, and all Belarusian fans of rhythmic gymnastics, who sincerely supported and rooted for you on your way to the cherished dream. Today you showed your sports and creative potential and gave fans of the most graceful sport unforgettable moments of joy and celebration.
I wish you health, good luck, happiness and new victories!"
Press service of Belarus’ NOC
Photo by Belarus’ NOC