|The Chinese Gymnastics Association has forfeited the team bronze its gymnasts won at the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, more fallout over the falsified age of gymnast Dong Fangxiao.
The Chinese Gymnastics Association has forfeited the team bronze its gymnasts won at the 1999 World Championships in Tianjin, more fallout over the falsified age of gymnast Dong Fangxiao. Ukraine, fourth in Tianjin, officially awarded the bronze medals to its 1999 world squad in a ceremony Saturday in Kiev.
The Chinese team lost the team bronze from the 2000 Olympics in April 2010, when the International Olympic Committee ruled that Dong's birth year had been altered from 1986 to 1983 to allow her to compete as a senior in 1999 and 2000. The U.S. women, fourth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, received their bronze medals in a ceremony at the 2010 U.S. championships.
Dong's age came under scrutiny in 2008 following the Olympic scandal in Beijing, where there were accusations that China had falsified the ages of some of the gymnasts on its gold-medal team.
In Tianjin, the Chinese team of Dong, Bai Chunyue, Huang Mandan, Ling Jie, Liu Xuan and Xu Jing finished third behind Romania and Russia. But the team was only a fraction ahead of Ukraine, 152.423-152.338.
Nearly 13 years later, Ukraine received the bronze medals Saturday in Kiev at the Zakharova Cup. The gymnasts on the 1999 team were Natalia Gorodny, Viktoria Karpenko, Olga Roschupkina, Inga Shkarupa, Olga Teslenko, Tatiana Yarosh and alternate Galina Tyryk. It is the first world team medal for the Ukrainian women, who were also fourth in 1997.
Two weeks ago, FIG President Bruno Grandi was in Kiev and gave the medals to Ukrainian coach Igor Korobchinsky, coach Lyudmila Korolenko told IG.
Only Teslenko, a judge at the competition, and Gorodny were on hand for the ceremony. Coaches Svetlana Kutsenko, Zinaida Gorbach and Korolenko accepted the medals on behalf of their former gymnasts.