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Unwin and Holt host their own unofficial medal ceremony (Credit: Getty Images)
Image 1 of 3The couple had protested by photobombing the official medal ceremony (Credit: Getty Images)
Image 1 of 3Unwin (right) and Holt on the podium with borrowed medals (Credit: Getty Images)
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The UCI has fined para-cyclist Sophie Unwin and her pilot Georgia Holt after the pair performed a ‘fake’ ceremony using borrowed medals at the Commonwealth Games.
Despite finishing third in the tandem B sprint on the track, the two were not officially awarded bronze medals as only four teams took part, with the regulations stating that in this event only gold and silver medals are up for grabs.
The pair reportedly felt they deserved medals and took it upon themselves to celebrate the occasion by borrowing bronze medals from England team-mates including Laura Kenny.
They protested by standing behind the podium and holding up an English flag during the official gold and silver medal ceremony and were told to move by security. They later posed with their borrowed bronze medals for an unofficial ceremonial shoot on the empty podium.
Their actions earned them a fine of 200 Swiss francs each from the UCI, cycling’s governing body, for “failing to follow the commissaire/organiser’s instructions”.
However, they received an apology from the event’s organiser, the Commonwealth Games Foundation, which admitted some blame for the confusion.
There were five teams entered for the Tandem B Sprint, but only four started the event, triggering the rule. However, their match with Scotland was billed by the organizers as a bronze medal race and Unwin and Holt were even ushered onto the podium after their race, only to be told they would not receive any medals – a decision which reportedly let her down tears.
“In the few instances where there are fewer than five participants in a Commonwealth Games event, the CGF employs a medal award policy to protect the integrity of the competition,” said a CGF spokesperson.
“The policy – which was published in January this year – states that if there are only four competitors, only gold and silver medals will be awarded; and only gold medals if there are only three or two competitors.
“Unfortunately, while the athletes in the women’s Tandem B Sprint were informed of this prior to the race, the scoreboard and results sheet incorrectly indicated that this was a bronze medal race. We apologize to the athletes involved for the unintended distress this has caused.”