Turner Rayderly Zapata gets enough points to get gold, but the fine print dictates otherwise

Riderley ZapataAFP photo

It was possible in one sport, but not in another. While Mutaz Issa Barshim and Gianmarco Tempere won two gold medals in the Olympic track, because they jumped 2.37 meters in the same number of attempts in the high jump final, this was not possible in gymnastics. Two of the participants also got exactly the same result.

In the floor section, Israelis Artem Dolgobat and Ridley Zapata of Spain earned the same number of points from the jury. With a total score of 14,933 both were at the top. But this time there were no two gold medals ready. The gymnasts did not think to ask if a split was possible.

In order to arrive at the winner, the difficulty of the exercise was considered. Dolgopyat had a slightly more difficult workout (6.2 instead of 6.1) which awarded him gold. Zapata was saddened to have to accept silver. He will cry on a bench when Xiao Ruoteng of China takes bronze.

Zapata’s sadness then seemed to turn into joy, especially after receiving comforting congratulations from tennis player Rafael Nadal on his phone. “I’m dying,” he wrote, out of disbelief that the star had become interested in his affairs.

Despite the small margin, gold was special for Dolgopyat. It’s Israel’s second-ever Olympic title. Gal Friedman became the first Israeli to win an Olympic title in Athens in 2004. He had already won a bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games eight years earlier.

Dolgopyat won the European title on the floor in 2020, his favorite part. At the 2017 and 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the 24-year-old gymnast won the silver medal on the floor. Dolgopyat was born in Ukraine, where he also started gymnastics.

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