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#pounditSunday, September 26, 2021

German Hahner twins criticized for holding hands at finish line

Hahner twins hold hands

German distance runners Anna and Lisa Hahner are being criticized by officials from their home country after they crossed the finish line at the end of their marathon race on Sunday while holding hands.

Anna and Lisa, who are twins, finished 81st and 82nd in the women’s marathon at the Summer Olympics in Rio. Anna was credited with a time of 2:45:32 and Lisa a second slower. Photos of their hand-holding finish went viral.

Their happy finish also has led to criticism.

“Victory and medals are not the only goal,” Thomas Kurschilgen, sports director of the German Athletics Federation, said in an email to The New York Times on Tuesday. “Still, every athlete in the Olympic competitions should be motivated to demonstrate his or her best performance and aim for the best possible result.

“Their main aim was to generate media attention,” he said. “That is what we criticize.”

The Hahner twins commented about the race in a post on their Facebook page Monday. They said that despite finishing 81st and 82nd, they had trained hard for the race and were proud of their accomplishment.

The two did not run the whole race side-by-side, but they ended up next to each other at the finish line. They weren’t the only twins in the race; North Korean twins finished 10th and 11th with identical times, while Estonian triplets also competed in the race.

Sometimes people get so caught up in competitions they forget to have fun. But when photos like the Hahner twins holding hands at the finish line or opponents hugging like this go viral, it’s a reminder that there’s another side to sports.

H/T J.J. Brown

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