EUROPEAN SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017
Italy appealed the results of Thursday’s mixed 4×50 medley relay after the team’s coach says the backstroke starting wedge gave way under leadoff man Simone Sabbioni, though the appeal was ultimately rejected.
SwimSwam’s Giusy Cisale spoke to Italian head coach Cesaro Butini, who said that the wedge gave out under Sabbioni during the relay final Thursday night. Here is a rough translation of Butini’s quote:
“Part of the device support gave way. This created a moment of discomfort and a problem for the athlete who completely lost his support. He could not therefore give the right push for departure.
In my opinion there was a problem of non-intervention by a judge. There the only possible solution is that there must have been a timely intervention by the judge to stop the race and it was not done.
At the end of the race we made sure of this with video footage and also talking with the athletes. We had the certainty that this disadvantaged the athlete and we immediately resorted to the TSC (Technical Swimming Comittee) Commission, which was present in the pool floor.
The appeal was ultimately rejected based on a lack of proof that equipment malfunction negatively impacted the start. But Butini said that the next morning, a new “security system” had been equipped to the backstroke starting wedges to better lock the wedge into place.
Italy ultimately finished 8th in the mixed medley relay final, with Sabbioni’s 24.96 backstroke split coming in well behind the top male backstrokers in the field. (Other splits for men were 22.89, 22.94, 22.94 and 24.25). Italy was 1.68 seconds out of bronze and 1.72 out of gold