Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni Disqualified for the 2nd Time at SC Worlds


There were 4 more disqualifications on Sunday morning in the heats of the women’s 100 breaststroke, continuing a narrative from throughout the meet.

The most significant of the group were Finland’s Ida Hulkko and Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni. Castiglioni was the #3-ranked swimmer in the world this year in the event behind only Lilly King (who isn’t at this meet) and Alia Atkinson (who qualified 3rd). Her 1:03.90 from ISL Match #6 is faster than anybody swam in prelims.

Castiglioni was also disqualified earlier in the meet in the 50 breaststroke, where she was a strong medal contender. She has no other individual entries remaining, though she is likely to swim on Italy’s 400 medley relay on Tuesday.

“Never had that happen to me,” Castiglioni said. “In the 50 I can agree that I had a fly leg at the finish line but today I came in short without getting my legs out. Initially, I was given my result back, and then I was disqualified again. It all seems absurd to me, almost a persecution.”

FINA says that video review initiated the call, and that both Castiglioni and the Italian federation were shown the infraction.

Hulkko, meanwhile, has been as fast as 1:04.9 this season, which also would have cruised her into the semifinals.

13 breaststrokers were disqualified for stroke infractions in the opening session of the meet. New FINA rules that allow underwater cameras to be used not just to confirm, but also to initiate, disqualifications have loomed large at this meet. While these rules were in place at both the Olympics and the World Cup meets as well, this World Championship seems to be where FINA has drawn a hard line in the sand in breaststroke, which is notorious for stroke infractions.

In the early breaststroke events, most of the infractions being called were for taking a final stroke into the wall with a dolphin kick rather than a breaststroke kick.

Other swimmers disqualified were Unilez Takyi from Ghana and Claudia Verdino of Monaco. Neither was expected to make the semifinals.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Molly Hannis and a few others better start looking into a new line of work.

Swim mom
Reply to  SwammaJammaDingDong
2 years ago

Leave Molly out of this conversation.

Greg Peters
2 years ago

I thought the underwater cameras would discourage Castinglioni from cheating. She’s just shameless.

Reply to  Greg Peters
2 years ago

Out of curiosity: have you seen the footage that confirms the kick was there? I haven’t been able to find it myself and based on what described above (time reinstated then DQed again and short onto the wall) will refrain from judgement of the athlete.

Mark Usher
2 years ago

“FINA has drawn a hard line in the sand in breaststroke, which is notorious for stroke infractions.”
Maybe the problem is not with the swimmers as much as with the technically ambiguous & hard-to-judge stroke rules.
Why allow a dolphin kick off the wall, but not one into the wall?
How much body undulation is allowed during the stroke before it is considered a “dolphin kick”?
Does anyone understand that an actual simultaneous touch is physically impossible? Wouldn’t just a two-hand touch with both hands in contact with the wall at the same time serve the same purpose?
If you need technically complex & expensive camera systems to enforce the rules, then maybe you should look at the rules themselves.

NornIron Swim
Reply to  Mark Usher
2 years ago

They made a rod for their own back allowing the d’kick in the pullout after the ’04 Kitajima controversy. (Granted it took a few years for the rules to change.) Some backbone at the time would have lessened, not stopped, these issues.

Mark Usher
Reply to  NornIron Swim
2 years ago

Agreed. That opened the door for a lot of what’s going on now.

2 years ago

I hope they do this at ncaas

Reply to  Swimfan
2 years ago

I hope so too. There is a lot of fly kicking in the ncaa breast stroke especially on the women side.

Swim mom
Reply to  Jamie
2 years ago

Probably, happening on men’s too – they have the most A cuts.

2 years ago

cheaters get rekt

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »