Gymnastics: Let's get ready for Tokyo, says Chusovitina, 41

Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:37pm EDT
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By Mark Trevelyan

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Not content with seventh place at her seventh Olympics, Uzbek gymnast Oksana Chusovitina declared on Sunday she would be back to compete in Tokyo in 2020 at the age of 45.

Minutes after taking part in the vault against gymnasts younger than her 17-year-old son Alisher, Chusovitina breezily announced she would keep going.

"Of course I'm not entirely happy with today's performance, but what are you going to do? So we are going to move forward," she said.

Over the course of an extraordinary career, the diminutive Chusovitina has competed for the Soviet Union, Germany - where she lived for a period while Alisher was receiving successful treatment for leukemia - and Uzbekistan.

Her first Olympic appearance was at Barcelona in 1992 where she won a team gold with the Unified Team of athletes from the former USSR.

She flirted with the idea of retiring after each of the last two Games, but there was no hesitation when she was asked if she would be back in Tokyo for Olympics number eight.

"Definitely," she replied. "I've already taken this decision... I just woke up in the morning and decided.

"I'd like carry out an experiment to see how long it will take before I've had enough."   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Artistic Gymnastics - Preliminary - Women's Qualification - Subdivisions - Rio Olympic Arena - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Oksana Chusovitina (UZB) of Uzbekistan competes. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez