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Tokyo 2021 organization apologizes for mistaking Ukraine for Russia

Tokyo 2021 organization apologizes for mistaking Ukraine for Russia

Organizers of the Tokyo Games apologized on Thursday for presenting Ukrainian athletes as Russians during the artistic swimming award ceremony.

It was “a purely operational error,” said organizing committee spokesman Masa Tanaka, expressing his apology during the daily press conference.

The mistake is more delicate due to diplomatic tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean region shortly after the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists continues.

Svetlana Romashina and Svetlana Kolesnichenko, representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee, won the artistic duet swimming competition on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian duo of Marta Fiedina and Anastasiya Savchuk took bronze, but were announced on the podium as representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee. (AP)

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