Greek artistic gymnast Lefteris Petrounias has clinched the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics with a score of 15.200.

Chinese gymnast Liu Yang earned the gold medal with a score of 15.500 and You Hao, also of China won the silver with 15.300.

Despite physical problems that he had confronted  recently, Petrounias performed a difficult programme impressively but a misstep at the finish cost him.

For Petrounias, the road to Tokyo was much rougher than that of his fellow athletes. The 31-year-old gymnast had to have a surgical operation on his left shoulder. In a race against time, he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics just a month before the start of the Games.

Tokyo not the end of the road for Petrounias

Dimitris Raftis, Petrounias’s coach, had before the competition described the athlete’s difficult trials on the road to Tokyo.

“In November, 2019, we had essentially been excluded from the Games, and now we are here today going for the gold. That in and of itself is a miracle. We have difficult finals ahead of us, with three or four very good athletes.”

After today’s competition, Petrounias declared that this is not the end of the road in his career. “This third place finish is not the end of my career, which I want to finish with a gold medal [at the 2024 Paris Olympics].”

Petrounias won the gold at the 2016 Rio di Janeiro Olympics champion, is three-time World champion (2015, 2017, and 2018), and is a six-time European medalist on the still rings (five gold and one bronze).

Petrounias was also the first torch bearer for the Olympics torch relay after the flame was ignited at Olympia on 21 April 2016.

After Dimosthenis Tampakos (gold and silver) he is the second Greek gymnast to win two Olympics medals in the still rings.

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