U.S. Masters Swimming released a statement today saying that a timing system error led to Nathan Adrian’s American record-tying swim being incorrectly given a faster final time than he actually went. Adrian’s swim in the 100 freestyle was originally listed at a 41.08, but was in actuality a 41.13, according to USMS.
In a strange quirk at a very-fast Masters National meet, the error happened because the timing system at Nationals simply wasn’t prepared for Adrian’s speed – the full USMS statement is below:
Yesterday we reported that Nathan Adrian tied his own American record of 41.08 in the 100 freestyle at the 2014 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship. We made a mistake and the official time is 41.13. The error was due to a series of procedural issues, and we’re working diligently to prevent it from reoccurring.The truth is, Mr. Adrian swam faster than our standard timing procedures were prepared for. The pad timing system is set with a 20-second delay so that after a start, when swimmers from the finishing heat are exiting the pool and bumping the timing pads, that incidental contact won’t trip the pads and result in an error for the heat in the water. Under normal circumstances, the 20 seconds allows for the finished heat to exit the water before the current heat returns to hit the pad again. However, Mr. Adrian swims his 50s faster than 20 seconds. We should have been prepared for this and set the delay to accommodate his speed on the first 50 of his 100.
We offer our sincerest apologies to Mr. Adrian. We were honored to have him compete at the 2014 Spring Nationals and we hope our error will not prevent him from swimming at a Masters Swimming competition in the future.