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Gymnast Nina Derwael wins Belgium’s first Olympic gold in Tokyo
Nina Derwael is Belgium’s first Olympic champion in Tokyo following her victory in the uneven bars on Sunday. She is also the first Belgian woman to win an Olympic gymnastics gold for her country.
The 21-year-old from Limbourg province and current double European and World champion in the discipline was the favourite going into the final. She scored 15.200 points (6.7 for difficulty, 8.5 for execution) to give her a clear lead over Russian Anastasiia Iliankova (14.833) and American Sunisa Lee (14.500).
Derwael’s success took Belgium’s medal haul to three following Wout van Aert’s silver in the cycling competition and Matthias Casse’s bronze in judo. The country is currently lying in 38th place in the overall medal table.
Belgium’s ambition for the games is to beat the six medals it obtained in Rio in 2016. The nation’s medal hopefuls in Tokyo include defending Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam and the Red Lions men’s hockey team, which is looking to improve on its silver medal performance in Rio.
Team Belgium has sent 122 athletes – 67 men and 55 women – to the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which is its largest delegation ever.
Photo: Nina Derwael raises Belgian flag after taking Olympic gold in uneven bars gymnnastics final © Belga