2021 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, December 16th – Tuesday, December 21st
- Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- SCM (25m)
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- Day 4 prelims recap
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.
- More with FINA Technical Swim Committee Chair Carol Zaleski on stroke infractions at 2021 Short Course World Championships.
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.