Litvinovich bounces Belarus to first Olympic medal of 2020

Posted at 1:33 AM, Jul 31, 2021

The men's individual trampoline event finals proved that bouncing back isn't necessarily always a good thing. 

Ivan Litvinovich was able to rein in some unruly bounces at the end of his routine to clinch the gold medal, but reigning world champion and favorite Gao Lei did not advance to the eight-man final after stopping his preliminary routine short due to landing a skill off the trampoline. 

Litvinovich's gold is Belarus' first medal of the Tokyo Games and the nation's second consecutive gold in the event. The 20-year-old had the most difficult routine of all the competitors in the final and got off to an excellent start, but the second half of his routine lacked the control he showed initially. As Litvinovich waited to see if his score was high enough to pass China's Dong Dong, he held his head in his hands, covering his eyes. 

The 61.715 that flashed on the scoreboard was .48 higher than Dong's, cementing Litvinovich as the Olympic champion and bumping the Chinese gymnast into second.

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Dong, who is a four-time Olympian, had a full set of Olympic medals before competing in Tokyo. He defended his silver from Rio with a score of 61.235 and added to a collection that already included a gold from London and a bronze from Beijing. His medal marks China's third in trampoline of the 2020 Games, followingZhu Xueying and Liu Lingling finishing 1-2 in the women's competition.

Dylan Schmidt rounded out the podium in third with a 60.675. His bronze is New Zealand’s first medal in any gymnastics discipline. 

American Alexi Shostak did not advance to the final after his leg slipped through the trampoline on his preliminary routine.