Twins' Memorable Marathon Doesn't Sit Well at Home
Germany's Lisa, Anna Hahner accused of seeking publicity instead of gold
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2016 10:16 PM CDT
Updated Aug 17, 2016 6:21 AM CDT
Lisa and Anna Hahner finish the women's marathon together.   (YouTube/NBC)

(Newser) – Two German twins who finished the women's marathon at Rio hand in hand may have brought smiles to viewers' faces, but they're now taking some serious flak at home. Lisa and Anna Hahner finished 81st and 82nd in Sunday's race and say they decided to hold hands at the spur of the moment, after Anna made a late push to catch up with her sister toward the end, reports the New York Times. "It was a magical moment that we could finish this marathon together," says Anna. "We did not think about what we were doing.” (Their finish is briefly on video here.) The director of Germany's Athletics Federation, however, accuses the sisters of not taking the race seriously and hunting publicity instead.

“Their main aim was to generate media attention,” says Thomas Kurschilgen. “That is what we criticize.” Working against the sisters is that both finished well off their own personal bests, by 20 minutes or so, at 2:45:32 for Anna and 2:45:33 for Lisa. A typical sentiment via a columnist at the newspaper Die Welt, as spotted by "If the Hahners jointly want to cross the finish line, beaming and holding hands, then they can—in the countryside home run in St. Pölten or the Miss-Braided run in Solingen." One other nugget may sting more: Two North Korean twins, Kim Hye Song and Kim Hye Gong, finished next to each other but well ahead of the Hahners in 10th and 11th place. (In another race, a nasty fall led to one of the nicest moments at Rio.)