Justin Ress DQ Overturned After Medals Ceremony for Rollercoaster 50 Back Gold

by Riley Overend 38

June 25th, 2022 International, News



  • World Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 2022 U.S. Trials
  • Championship Record: 24.04, Liam Tancock (GBR) – 2009 World Championships
  • 2019 World Champion: Zane Waddell (RSA), 24.43
  1. Justin Ress (USA) – 24.12
  2. Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 24.14
  3. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 24.49
  4. Thomas Ceccon (ITA) – 24.51
  5. Apostolos Christou (GRE) / Robert Glinta (ROU) – 24.57
  6. Ole Braunschweig (GER) – 24.66
  7. Isaac Alan Cooper (AUS) – 24.76

Some back-and-forth officiating in the men’s 50 back final added an extra layer of drama on the final day of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

Justin Ress won his first individual Worlds gold with a 24.12 — the 14th-fastest swim in history — before a video review disqualified the 24-year-old American for being fully submerged on the finish. But less than an hour later, after runner-up Hunter Armstrong topped the podium at the medals ceremony, the DQ was overturned. 

Ress touched in 24.12, just .02 seconds ahead of Armstrong, the world record holder in the event. While he was the presumed winner, Armstrong seemed visibly upset about the way his teammate was robbed. 

“I was really proud of Justin,” Armstrong said. “That was a great race. We only had .02 seconds separating us. 

“I would have rather taken 2nd and had him with me than having me get the title with the DQ,” Armstrong added. “That’s not how I wanted it. I was just incredibly proud of him. He’s just an amazing athlete, a great talent, and completely raw. He’s capable of so much. To have that taken away from him, it sucks.”

The American duo had paced the field leading up to the finals, with Armstrong also .02 behind Ress’s top-seeded time of 24.14 in the semifinals. It’s the second gold medal of the week for Ress, who helped the Americans triumph in the 4×100 free relay last Saturday. He received his hardware later during a special ceremony without the other medalists present on the podium. 

Polish teen Ksawery Masiuk will return to his bronze medal position after being awarded silver during the ceremony. His 24.49 was just .01 off his national record from earlier this week. Thomas Ceccon was belatedly bumped off the podium with a 24.51, a few days after breaking the world record in the 100 back. Ceccon was also just off his Italian record of 24.46 set in prelims. 

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7 months ago

I think this is the right call. That rule only exists to prevent people from re-submerging and dolphin kicking. IMO going underwater like ress did here doesn’t provide a competitive advantage (bc you just go more distance)

7 months ago

This dumb rule needs to go.

Bill G
7 months ago

How do you hold the medal ceremony while the appeal is outstanding / not resolved?

Reply to  Bill G
7 months ago

Good question. This wouldn’t have been the first sporting event that was held up because of a review. Maybe the people that ran the event were late for a date. 😏

Reply to  Bill G
7 months ago

Sir, have you met the organizers of FINA?

Mariusz Siembida
7 months ago

Only Americans…

Last edited 7 months ago by Mariusz Siembida
Reply to  Mariusz Siembida
7 months ago

At the end of the day we win gold medals the right way. Go USA!!

7 months ago

Correctly overturned. Great job Justin

Argentina on top 🇦🇷
7 months ago

Kliment, the 50 back next year is yours in Fukuoka.
No one can match your top end speed.

I hope you get your WR back soon 👏👏

Reply to  Argentina on top 🇦🇷
7 months ago

You mean he’s going to leave Russia and become a citizen of a different country? Big if true!

7 months ago

Doesn’t surprise. The decision to DQ seemed a case of “right guy, wrong date and time” with the officials clearly panicked to act after letting some blatant ones pass in the previous rounds. The semis was fairly clear-cut; this one (whilst probably marginal) looked just on the right side of the line giving ample grounds for appeal and subsequent over-rule.

7 months ago

Justin Ress has had a rollercoaster career competing in the loaded sprint freestyle and backstroke events.

He was often in the top 5, this year he moved up a few spots.

Happy for him that he has a couple WC gold medals now.

He’s absolutely beaming in that photo with his gold medal around his neck.

Reply to  Marklewis
7 months ago

Let’s also just remember that he started his career at Nc state as a distance freestyler!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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