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Upon review, Lilly King agrees with DQ in 200m breaststroke

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GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — Lilly King believes officials made the right call when they disqualified her for an unorthodox turn in the 200-meter breaststroke heats at the world swimming championships.

As a result, the American said Friday she will reevaluate her turns in the event.

Officials ruled King didn’t touch the wall with both hands at the same time in the first turn Thursday.

“They made the right call,” King said Friday. “When you saw it in super slo-mo and super zoom, I definitely did it.”

Earlier in the championships, King won the 100m breaststroke and took silver in the 4×100 mixed medley relay.

The U.S. lost its initial protest of the DQ and was denied again by FINA’s Jury of Appeals.

“I really appreciate everyone’s effort to try to get it overturned, but it was so over the top,” King said, referring to the drawn-out process that took most of the day and wasn’t announced until shortly before the evening semifinals.

King, an outspoken doping critic, criticized FINA earlier in the meet for allowing China’s Sun Yang to compete in Gwangju while he has a pending case before the Court for Arbitration in Sport that threatens to result in his lifetime ban.

She also supported Australian Mack Horton’s shunning of Sun on the medals podium, saying, “I don’t think anyone at FINA is going to stand up for the athletes, so the athletes have to stand up for themselves.”

“Do I think maybe something I had said about FINA earlier maybe came back to haunt me in the jury? Yeah, probably,” King said, “but I’m still going to stand up for what I believe in and in the end the official made the right call.”

In the turns, swimmers try to get in and out of the wall as fast as possible. Some place both hands flat on the wall. King describes her technique as unorthodox.

She staggers her hands, with her right touching flat above the water and her left poking the wall with a finger. She uses her flat hand to push away. On-deck judges observe each lane to ensure swimmers touch the wall simultaneously.

“I think it would have been very difficult to see with the human eye personally, but I think the official was standing at just the right angle and she got me,” King said. “The officials are there to do their job and that’s what they did.”

King said she was disqualified for the same infraction in the event at the U.S. national championships four years ago.

She’s glad this latest DQ occurred at worlds instead of next year’s Olympics.

“I still have a whole year to fix that and make it better and make it perfect before we get to Tokyo,” she said.

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Dan Hicks, Rowdy Gaines call backyard pool swim race

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Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines covered swimming together at the last six Olympics, including every one of Michael Phelps‘ finals, but they’ve never called a “race” quite like this.

“We heard you were looking for something to commentate during the down time….might this short short short course 100 IM help?” tweeted Cathleen Pruden, posting a video of younger sister Mary Pruden, a sophomore swimmer at Columbia University, taking individual medley strokes in what appeared to be an inflatable backyard pool.

“Hang on,” Gaines replied. “This race of the century deserves the right call. @DanHicksNBC and I are working some magic!”

Later, Hicks posted a revised video dubbed with commentary from he and Gaines.

They became the latest commentators to go beyond the booth to post calls on social media while sports are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NBC Sports hockey voice Doc Emrick (who has also called Olympic hockey and water polo) did play-by-play of a windshield wiper installation.

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MORE: Ledecky, Manuel welcome Olympic decision after training in backyard pool

Which athletes are qualified for the U.S. Olympic team?

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Soon after Tokyo Olympic qualifying events began getting postponed, the International Olympic Committee announced that all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes.

The IOC repeated that position over the last week, after the Tokyo Games were postponed (now to open July 23, 2021). What does that mean for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee?

Well, 76 athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic team before the Olympic postponement was announced. That full list is here.

Those 76 athletes can be separated into two categories.

  • Athletes who earned Olympic spots BY NAME via International Federation (i.e. International Surfing Association or International Aquatics Federation) selection procedures.
  • Athletes named to the U.S. Olympic team by their national governing body (i.e. USA Swimming or USA Track and Field) and confirmed by the USOPC using NGB selection procedures after the NGB earned a quota spot.

When the IOC says “all quota places already allocated to National Olympic Committees and athletes will remain with those NOCs and athletes,” it means just that. USA Softball still has 15 athlete quota spots from qualifying a full team via international results. Surfer Kolohe Andino still has his Olympic spot from qualifying BY NAME via the International Surfing Association selection procedures route.

USA Softball named its 15-player Olympic roster last fall. Those 15 athletes did not earn Olympic quota spots for themselves. Unlike Andino (and 13 other American qualifiers across all sports), the 15 softball players had to be nominated by USA Softball and confirmed by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Unless and until the USOPC confirms that any of those other 62 athletes remain qualified, for now the list of U.S. Olympic qualifiers is these 14 who qualified BY NAME:

Karate (1)
Sakura Kokumai

Modern Pentathlon (2)
Samantha Achterberg
Amro Elgeziry

Swimming (3)
Haley Anderson
Ashley Twichell
Jordan Wilimovsky

Sport Climbing (4)
Kyra Condie
Brooke Raboutou
Nathaniel Coleman
Colin Duffy

Surfing (4)
Caroline Marks
Carissa Moore
Kolohe Andino
John John Florence

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MORE: Qualified athletes go into limbo with Tokyo postponement