Hungary Takes 2 Relay DQs For Not Swimming Relay-Only Swimmers


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In the first enforcement we’ve seen of FINA’s new rule requiring relay alternates to compete, Hungary has taken a pair of disqualifications in the men’s 4×100 and 4×200 free relays.

The rule, which takes effect for the first time in 2016, says that any nation that brings “relay-only” swimmers to the Olympics must swim those relay-only athletes on the relay they were entered in, or that relay will be disqualified.

Hungary was DQ’d in both the men’s 4×100 and 4×200 free relays for not swimming relay-only swimmers – but the twist is that the nation didn’t qualify for finals, so the DQs didn’t have a major impact.

So in theory, had Hungary made the top 8 in either relay, it would have had a chance to swap out some prelims swimmers for its “relay-only” swimmers to remain legal in the finals. But doing so would have actually slowed down their relay considerably.

We can’t confirm who the relay-only swimmers were because in another turn in the story, FINA took all the “relay-only” names off of the latest version of the official entry lists posted on its website.

But an earlier list showed four relay only names on each relay:

Men’s 4×100 free relay:

  • Peter Holoda
  • Vince Pulai
  • Bence Gyarfas
  • Armin Remenyi

Men’s 4×200 free relay:

  • Richard Narton
  • Norbert Szabo
  • Balazs Hollo
  • Benjamin Gratz

Holoda did swim the 4×100 along with Richard Bohus, Krisztian Takacs and Dominik Kozma. Gratz did swim the 4×200 along with Peter Bernek, Gergo Kis and Kozma.

But the other 6 did not compete, leading to both relays disqualification. Neither team would have made the final, but if they had, it would have brought up an interesting conundrum for Hungary: swap out 3 of 4 legs for swimmers who, by previous results, were slower than the prelims team or swim the faster team and take a DQ.

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7 years ago

What’s the reasoning behind this new rule?

Reply to  Troy
7 years ago

Troy – as with most things, that’s a secret. Ostensibly, though, it’s to limit the number of “Olympic tourists” and increase the number of available Universality and “B” time spots, since relay only swimmers count against the 900 cap even if they don’t race.

Attila the Hunt
7 years ago

Fina is a joke.. None of its officials and members even understand the rules they created.

Should Hungary finds it worthy of their time, they could even counter claim and argue that all USA relays should be DQ if the rules are interpreted as is.

7 years ago

These mostly young swimmers were in Rio to prepare with the team and get XP for Tokio (or Budapest). I see a chance for both teams to qualify for the final in Budapest. Kozma is big talent, just regaining strength after serious health problems. Will be much better for Budapest.

Reply to  tkrisz
7 years ago

You mentioned Kozma. Bernek is world champion, Bochus is really good in free, previously back and Takacs is our senior spinter mainly 50 free. The youngsters will be good. And we have some more at home.

7 years ago

What if your relay-only swimmer gets sick? Do they need a “doctor’s note”?

7 years ago

seems stupid to DQ them if they didn’t qualify for the final

7 years ago

I thought the rule was that the relay only swimmers must swim, but not necessarily in the relay the qualified in. I thought they just had to swim period in order to adhere to the rule?

Reply to  Ervin
7 years ago

I think the rule is that they must swim in at least one relay in which they are registered in. For example, if you are listed as a relay only swimmer in the 4×100 free relay, you must swim in that. However, some countries entered relay only swimmers across multiple relays, even though they were only intended to swim a specific relay. That is why every USA relay only swimmer is listed under every relay.

7 years ago

Actually I get it. If you are on the bubble to make finals but not a threat to medal you put your A team in prelims so you have a shot at the finals. Did I miss something?

7 years ago

that’s kinda funny- front load prelims to get in and then put your B guys in to get the official swim (I’m assuming there are some national benchmarks to make finals in relays)

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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