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Tokyo 2020: IOC sorry after announcer confuses Ukraine and ROC

Ukraines artistic swimming medallists

Tokyo, August 5: Tokyo Olympic organisers have apologised after Ukraine's artistic swimming medallists were misidentified as being Russian by a venue announcer.

The Ukraine pair of Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk won bronze in their duet free routine event on Wednesday, finishing behind pairs from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and China.

However, Fiedina and Savchuk were named as ROC competitors by a French-language announcer, causing embarrassment for Tokyo 2020 chiefs.

It was a particularly unfortunate mistake given the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Tokyo 2020 organising committee spokesperson Masa Takaya said: "I would like to apologise to the team Ukraine.

"During the victory ceremony yesterday for the artistic swimming duet, there was mistakenly announced a different country and region's name for the team Ukraine who claimed the bronze medal.

"It was purely an operational mistake, so we would like to apologise for that."

Takaya did not immediately clarify that the mistake was to confuse the Ukrainians as belonging to the Russian team.

Asked for more detail, Takaya said: "French, English and Japanese, these three languages are used. The French language [should] have said team Ukraine; however, it said the ROC instead.

"Of course, people noticed that and the person in charge of the announcement apologised and there was an announcement of apology at the same time, so this was a purely operational mistake."

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Story first published: Thursday, August 5, 2021, 10:30 [IST]
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