Gymnastics Tokyo Olympics: Australian athlete shoots back after governing body said ‘it wasn’t our night’

A top Australian gymnast who narrowly missed a place in the Tokyo Olympics has hit back after the sport’s governing body declared it “just wasn’t our night”.

Georgia Godwin was in the final all the way to the final subdivision on Sunday night, when she was knocked out by competitors from Brazil and Germany.

As the competition drew to a close near midnight, Gymnastics Australia released a statement that read, “Not our night tonight unfortunately,” revealing that Godwin and her teammate Emily Whitehead had finished 37th and 44th out of 80 gymnasts competing for a ​place in the all-round final.

Georgia Godwin (right) and Emily Whitehead (left) were selected to represent Australian gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics

In fact, due to sport-specific rules that only two gymnasts from each country can advance to the next round, Godwin was just shy of progressing and will now act as the third reserve in the event of injury ahead of the medal events.

Gymnastics Australia’s announcement has been described as ‘tone deaf’ by critics, who claim both women had incredibly successful matches.

Godwin himself responded to the post after the massive backlash to clarify that both she and Whitehead “hit” all four routines they each did.

“Tonight was incredible,” she said.

“We both hit 4/4, loved every moment and fulfilled our Olympic dream. Thank you everyone for your support.’

As the competition drew to a close near midnight, Gymnastics Australia released a statement that read,

As the competition drew to a close near midnight, Gymnastics Australia released a statement that read, “Not our night tonight unfortunately,” revealing that Godwin and her teammate Emily Whitehead had finished 37th and 44th out of 80 gymnasts competing for a ​​place in the All Around finals

Godwin himself responded to the post after the massive backlash to clarify that both she and Whitehead

Godwin himself responded to the post after the massive backlash to clarify that both she and Whitehead “hit” all four routines they each did. In the photo: Godwin on beam

“Tonight was incredible,” Godwin said. “We both hit 4/4, loved every moment and fulfilled our Olympic dream. Thank you everyone for your support.’

The 23-year-old’s diplomatic response was praised by fans who assured her that she had made her nation proud and was a great inspiration “to young gymnasts everywhere.”

Backlash from the original post prompted Gymnastics Australia to amend their statement late Monday morning, instead congratulating the women on their achievements.

“It WAS their night,” said one fan. “Georgia and Emily deserve all the credit in the world and a governing body that is proud of them.”

“Please rephrase your post, because the beginning sounds awful,” said another. “It was their night, strong, beautiful performances that reflected their hard work and dedication to the sport.”

Gymnastics Australia's announcement has been described as 'tone deaf' by critics, who claim both women had incredibly successful matches.

Gymnastics Australia’s announcement has been described as ‘tone deaf’ by critics, who claim both women had incredibly successful matches.

Whitehead was ranked 44th after her first Olympic competition.  Pictured: Whitehead during her floor routine

Whitehead was ranked 44th after her first Olympic competition. Pictured: Whitehead during her floor routine

Others suggested that it was Gymnastics Australia’s responsibility to ensure that athletes are competitive enough on the world stage.

They urged the governing body to “rethink what it means to be an Olympian” and give both Godwin and Whitehall the credit they deserved.

No Australian women’s gymnast has ever won a medal at an Olympics.

“That’s a terrible statement and you should be ashamed of yourself for making it… Show support instead of just looking for final places.”

Preparations were made ahead of the Olympics after an independent study on the culture of elite gymnastics in Australia was published.

No Australian women's gymnast has ever won a medal at an Olympics

No Australian women’s gymnast has ever won a medal at an Olympics

Georgia Godwin was in the final all the way to the final subdivision on Sunday night, when she was knocked out by competitors from Brazil and Germany

Georgia Godwin was in the final all the way to the final subdivision on Sunday night, when she was knocked out by competitors from Brazil and Germany

The report found that coaching practices were harmful to athletes and in some circumstances created a cycle of abuse, noting that there was insufficient focus on understanding what child abuse and neglect could be within the sport.

The report, supplemented by the Australian Human Rights Commission, made 12 key recommendations based on five key findings.

In response, Gymnastics Australia pledged to review sports culture and implement all 12 recommendations.

Tyson Bull, the only male athlete to represent Australia in artistic gymnastics, has qualified for the final on one device, high bar.

He will perform on Tuesday, August 3 at 7:30 PM local time.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Gymnastics Australia for comment.

Gymnastics Australia changed the post in the wake of the backlash

Gymnastics Australia changed the post in the wake of the backlash

Tyson Bull, the only male athlete to represent Australia in artistic gymnastics, has qualified for the final on one device, high bar.  He will perform on Tuesday, August 3 at 7:30 PM local time.  Pictured: bull fighting on the parallel bars

Tyson Bull, the only male athlete to represent Australia in artistic gymnastics, has qualified for the final on one device, high bar. He will perform on Tuesday, August 3 at 7:30 PM local time. Pictured: bull fighting on the parallel bars

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