Difficult things are often easier to keep quiet than to bring them to the table.
This proved to be true again when HS began to find out the judging of the World Gymnastics Team Gymnastics held in Helsinki last weekend.
From the points awarded in the final, it is clear how the Russian and Bulgarian judges raised their own teams and knocked out others.
In the finals the judges awarded the teams points for technical excellence, artistic impression and competitive performance. The technical maximum scores are 6.0 and the artistic scores are 4.0. A maximum of 10 points can be earned for performance.
Each of the three areas was judged by four judges, for a total of twelve judges.
The Russian referee gave three teams, the Russian Madonna and Expression, and the Bulgarian National Team a full 6.0 points for the technique. The Finnish team Minetit, which won the world championship, received 5.9 points from him, and the fourth-place OVO Team from Espoo received only 5.6 points.
The Bulgarian judge gave 6.0 points to his own fifth team, 5.8 points to Minete and 5.6 points to OVO. Russian Madonna got full marks from him.
In the results Madonna was second, Express third and OVO was left without a medal.
A Danish and a Greek judge gave the four best technical scores 5.8 to 6.0 points, which, according to the experts interviewed by HS, was essentially the truth.
If two judges pull some team in points up or down, it will radically affect the team’s end points.
However, the refereeing process is so sensitive that not all people interviewed by HS want to comment on the judges’ actions in their own name.
“The sport requires the development of rules. I can’t comment on anything else, ”says the Finnish judge Salla Lintunen in brief.
He shared points for his artistic impression in the World Cup final. In his papers, the most artistic performance of the final was with Mineti, OVO and the Bulgarian teams.
Medal being annoyed by OVO Team’s head coach Anneli from Laine-Näätä. However, that is not the main reason why he wants to speak in his own name about the judging of the sport.
“I don’t want to blackmail anyone but I want a change and a grievance to be brought out. Athleticism and fairness must be honored, or else the small sport will shrink even more, ”says Laine-Näätänen.
According to Laine-Näätänen, the International Federation of Team Gymnastics (IFAGG) does not have a monitoring of the judging line or an independent disciplinary body that would supervise it.
“It simply came to our notice then. The problem is in the infrastructure. Judges may award any points only without receiving a sanction. The same people serve as judges and sit on the federation board and even coach the teams, though not officially. So they decide for themselves how to judge, ”says Laine-Näätänen.
All members of the IFAGG Board have served as judges. Five of them were judges at the World Championships in Helsinki.
About review types figure skating completely changed their score after the 2002 scandal at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics: the judges agreed on a pair skating winner.
Today, athletes are no longer compared to each other, but in figure skating, the final score is determined by the points collected by the athletes for their performance, which are as objectively assessed as possible.
“There has to be an impartial body that addresses grievances. The current situation is glaring and black and white. You can see the same thing seven years ago in the jury’s minutes, ”says Laine-Näätänen.
Helsinki at the World Championships held at the ice rink, he noted that the judges gave points without a video check. It feels weird today when the video is helping judges in almost any sport.
“The technical performance point can only be based on the facts, not the opinion of the judge. As a coach, I use video every day for training. That is a fact, and the athlete sees where he made the mistake, ”says Laine-Näätänen.
At the same time, video surveillance is the legal security of an athlete. If the score is based only on a personal and fleeting moment, it is absurd for an athlete, according to Laine-Näätänen.
“It eats up his motivation. The athlete thinks the weak score is his fault, but it is not. Athletes train hard 30 hours a week. You have to make sure you don’t get bored or get bitter. As a coach, how can I prevent it despite all the disadvantages, ”Laine-Näätänen thinks.
Finn Jaana Widenius was recently elected to the board of the International Federation of Team Gymnastics. According to him, the activities of judges are monitored and, if necessary, justifications are requested for criticisms.
“Judges will be drawn into the jury panel. At the World Championships, the ethical rules of the sport were reviewed with them and it was ensured that the line of criticism was common. It reduces the chance of trying to influence points if such a situation arises, ”Widenius says.
There are people on the jury who were not born in the country they represent as judges. For example, a German judge is Bulgarian and a French judge is Russian.
How can this affect the review?
“Team gymnastics is a growing little sport. Many people may have a previous gym network in the background. This will allow them to take the species forward in the new country. I think it’s a terribly positive thing, ”Widenius says but can’t comment on the scores given by individual judges.
“Let’s make rule developments to avoid mistakes.”
What about why don’t the judges watch the performance on video before giving points?
“The international federation is developing the judiciary, but video assessment is not yet working in our sport. The importance of an individual movement is not as great as the gymnastics of the whole team as a movement. The direction of video editing is insanely interesting. This has been discussed. ”
According to Laine-Näätänen, video checking is the only honest way to find errors in the performance that affect the points.
“Madonna made a clear mistake in the race, but they didn’t show up in the scores. The human eye cannot see everything. ”
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