“He Was So Flexible”- Tokyo Olympics Athlete Novak Djokovic In Awe Of Nina Derwael’s Physicality

Published 08/10/2021, 12:29 PM EDT


At Tokyo Olympics, 2020, Nina Derwael has a fun recollection of Novak Djokovic meeting at the gym in the Olympic village!

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At the Tokyo Olympics, the two world Belgium gymnasts, Nina Derwael and Maellyse Brass, bumped into the Serb at the Olympic village. Even though several athletes wanted to get themselves clicked with the Tennis World no. 1 however, this picture created hype all over the internet.

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The picture taken shows Djokovic doing a split alongside the famous Belgian gymnasts. “We were actually in the weight room, and Marjorie had seen him (Novak Djokovic),” said Derwael.

So we thought we would take a photo when he finished. Then, while we were making the big gaps, Novak looked at us and said, “This is even more flexible than what I can do’,” said Derwael.

Novak Djokovic reacts to this experience

The Serb was definitely impressed, looking at the fantastic skills of the two gymnasts. However, the Belgians were more impressed with Novak’s skills.

He stands next to me, takes his phone and gives it to his trainer,” the Belgian reported. “So I tell him, ok but if you take a picture, I want one too. And so I also gave my phone away. He puts himself in the split and then he goes further and further. But he was still on those hands. So I said to him, “but you have to let go of your hands eh!” And so he opened his arms like me. But I was still amazed that he was so flexible!

Performance of both the athletes at Tokyo Olympics 2020

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 22: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning a point in his fourth round match against Hyeon Chung of South Korea on day eight of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Nina Derwael is a Belgian artistic gymnast. She could successfully bag gold by performing on uneven bars. Not only that, but also the fact that she finished 8th in the women’s all-around artistic team event adds more to her status.

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She is a two-time world champion and a two-time European champion on the uneven bars. In the 2019 European Games, she emerged victorious on the balance beam and in the national all-around championship, twice.

Djokovic lost to Pablo Carreno Busta, in their hustle for the bronze medal. He also withdrew his name from the mixed doubles match for the bronze because of his injury. Leaving empty-handed from the Olympics has therefore been quite disappointing for the Serb. Nevertheless, Novak’s father seemed optimistic about his son’s future performances. He said that his son will soon be the best athlete ever. “Currently he is one of the best of all time, but very quickly he will be the best athlete ever,” said Djokovic senior.

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No matter what the results were, Tokyo Olympics, 2020 was a wholesome experience!

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Divya Chaturvedi

95 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is an Olympic Athletics author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Under Graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus, representing India at the International Children's Games held in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far. Having participated in The Road to Wimbledon and representing the state several times, she bagged a number of titles for the same.

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