MURAKAMI Mai, having her fair share of difficulty amid her storied career in artistic gymnastics. That knows better than most the dissatisfaction ROC gymnast Angelina Melnikova was feeling at the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
It was the floor final, the final award round of the competition. Days earlier, Melnikova had finished just briefly of the individual podium in the all-around, finishing fifth. When Murakami edged her for the bronze medal by less than .050.
Tears streamed down Melnikova’s confront as she figured it out she’d once more miss the platform. A person’s award would be got to hold up another day.
It was a moment that stayed with the first Japanese woman to win a medal in women’s gymnastics since 1964. So when they shared the floor workout bronze award Monday evening (2 August), Murakami had an idea.
“I was struck by her tears in Doha when she didn’t win a medal on the floor at the World Championships. However, I felt that she moreover contains strong energy for medals,” Murakami told Olympics.com in an elite meet. “I was exceptionally happy to stand with her this time.”
As the pair stood on the bronze award platform, Murakami gave Melnikova her bouquet in a minute of Olympic solidarity.
“It was just my idea,” Murakami explained. “I wanted to exchange bouquets, so I did.”
Ups and downs
Those championships in Doha. Murakami has been through the wringer with a back injury in early 2019 keeping her out of October’s World Championships in Stuttgart. Her group missed the Tokyo qualification without her.
“I got a lot of injuries. I think it was a very difficult time for me for two years,” she said.
She was utilized to the ups and downs of the sport. She’d finished fourth on the floor at the Universes in 2013, but recorded no person wrap up higher than 13th in 2014. Her sixth-place finish within the all-around at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow check her as a contender awards a year afterward at Rio 2016.
Those Games were themselves a roller coaster with Murakami helping Team Japan a solid fourth. But a disappointing 14th within the all-around and seventh on the floor.
Murakami soldiered on, taking motivation from her involvement.
“After Rio, I never overlooked my desire to win a medal in Tokyo, and I think that was the most reasonable. Too, I needed to alter the history of tumbling by winning a decoration in order for women’s tumbling to be more grounded and stronger,” clarified Murakami. “I think those two things were the greatest factors for me.”