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UPDATE SIDEBAR Germans chide shy Harting for too much fun in discus medals ceremony

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Robert Harting is famous for ripping his shirt to shreds and hugging innocent mascots when he wins big titles in the discus.

His younger brother Christoph is the exact opposite. He remained tight-lipped even as he won a surprise Olympic discus gold on Saturday, salvaging German family pride after Robert had failed to qualify the previous day.

However, when Harting came out of his shell after his victory, German media, athletes and sports officials started piling on criticism.

Maybe it is not a good idea to start emulating one‘s fun brother during a medal‘s ceremony.

While the German national anthem played, Christoph crossed his arms, swayed to the music and fooled around a bit. He also accidentally dropped the small sculpture that medal winners get in Rio.

"This behaviour makes me feel ashamed even as I‘m watching this in Germany on TV!" Germany‘s former European long jump champion Sebastian Beyer wrote on Facebook.

The German daily Die Welt found Christoph Harting‘s behaviour "not worthy of a gold medal winner."

Germany‘s Olympic mission chief in Rio, Michael Vesper, let it be known that "the way he behaved at the medals ceremony was not good, because he is a member of our team and an ambassador for our country."

Harting earlier did a dance when the 12 finalists were introduced, urged the crowd to cheer Piotr Malachowski after he had stolen the gold from the Pole, and ran a victory lap.

But the 26-year-old refused all interviews and didn‘t take questions in the mandatory news conference where he said a few sentences.

He has refused the media all season, the total opposite of Robert who has an opinion on everything ranging from his sport to doping and Olympic supremo Thomas Bach, whom he harshly criticised recently.

This is not Christoph‘s world, although it is not fully clear why he isn‘t talking.

On Saturday he said at the news conference: "Extroverted people want to be recognized."

"I am an introverted person and don‘t feel comfortable at all here."

"I am an athlete, not a PR person. I couldn‘t care less what you think of me. I don‘t have a clue what I am doing here," he added candidly, providing a possible reason for his behaviour on the winner‘s podium.

His father Gerd Harting had a simpler explanation. "That‘s just how Christoph is. That‘s his way of celebrating success," he told dpa in Rio.

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