Double disqualification rocks mixed 4x50m medley relay at World Championships
Two nations have been controversially disqualified following a fast and furious mixed 4x50m medley relay final at the Short Course World Championships on Wednesday.
Both Germany and the Netherlands had their times scratched after two separate changeover infractions.
With confirmation of the results delayed, former Australian swimming great and Nine commentator Gian Rooney suspected something was amiss.
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“We are just waiting for those results to be confirmed,” Rooney said on Nine’s broadcast.
“We are still waiting for these results to be ratified which means the officials might be having a little chat about a changeover or something like that.
“All the teams are all holding five. The teams are all anxiously looking at the board and waiting for that confirmation to come through.
“They are obviously watching something. Looking at replaying footage of some description.”
The FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) will be broadcast exclusively live and free on Nine and 9Now from December 13-18.
It was eventually revealed that Germany’s final changeover had occurred a fraction early, resulting in their disqualification.
Moments later, the Netherlands were also disqualified – stripping the team of their third place finish.
Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe saw the incident poolside and explained the strict rules around the takeover technique.
“This is very, very tight,” he said.
“The rule is, this technology is so close that you are allowed to go negative .003 of a second negative.
“To the naked eye that looked OK,” Rooney said.
“To me as well,” Thorpe added.
“The rule is that you have to have a fingertip, very much the tip of the finger touching the wall while someone – the end of their toe – is touching the blocks.
America won the event with a time of 1:35.15 – setting a new short course world record in the process – edging out a strong Italian team in second and the Canadians elevated to third.
The Australians failed to qualify for the final after a selection blunder saw the team finish 10th overall.
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