Kira Toussaint Speaks Out About 100 Backstroke Re-Swim, Missing the Podium

2021 LEN EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Following the controversial 100 backstroke re-swim at the 2021 European Championships, Dutch standout Kira Toussaint spoke out about her emotions surrounding her 4th place finish, after initially finishing 2nd in the final. 

In the original women’s 100m backstroke final, Toussaint finished 2nd to Great Britain’s Kathleen Dawson, who won the event in a European Championship Record of 58.18. However, due to a malfunction with the starting system, the swimmers in lanes 7 and 8 did not hear the starting horn. As a result of the malfunction, officials decided to invalidate the times from the original final, electing to hold a re-swim of the event. 

When the dust had settled on the re-swim, Toussaint fell two places in the final standings, finishing 4th with a time of 59.32, .3 seconds short of her original time. Instead, Italian 200 backstroke specialist Margherita Panziera had the better performance on the redux and took the silver medal, chopping a half second off of her original time to touch in 59.01. Dawson still claimed the gold medal, while Maria Kameneva retained her bronze medal finish. 

Toussaint posted about her experience on her Instagram account. “In the ‘first final’ I heard the problem with the starting device,” Toussaint wrote. “I doubted while swimming under water whether I had to race or not, but I saw everybody else going, so I went as well. It wasn’t a perfect race but in the end I was very happy with a silver medal.”

“While I was waiting for the victory ceremony, I received the news 2 minutes before that it was canceled. 30 seconds later I saw my coach who told me: we are going to swim again and it’s going to happen right now.” 

“It was stressful,” Toussaint continued, “…someone had to pick up a dry competition suit from the hotel. At that point it was still unclear what time we would race.” 

“I’m proud of how calm and positive I remained, but at the end of the ‘second final’, my tank was empty. 4th…seems unfair, it feels like I’m robbed of a silver medal, it is painful. But, it’s only a bump in the road. I will be back stronger.”  

Panziera, who swapped finishing places with Toussaint, also addressed the matter during a TV interview with an Italian news outlet. “I know that I don’t deserve the medal,” Panziera stated, “the silver is for Kira.”

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N P
2 months ago

Wow, I really respect that quote from Panzierra. Takes humility to say something like that.

He said what?
Reply to  N P
2 months ago

For the most part, the swimming community is a family. We respect one another greatly.

John
Reply to  N P
2 months ago

Athletes should take notes here. She’s showing poise and grace under a difficult situation!

Boobstroke
Reply to  N P
2 months ago

Agreed, very similar vibes to the Sydney Olympics All-Around woman’s final after Raducan was disqualified and the girls didn’t want their medals.

Now I wonder how L Hannson feels lol

RMS
Reply to  N P
2 months ago

Yes, but I think what would make this story even better is if she have Kira the medal.

He said what?
Reply to  RMS
2 months ago

I had the same thought.

iceman
Reply to  RMS
2 months ago

Maybe she has given it and just didn’t want to make it public? That would be the best.

He said what?
Reply to  iceman
2 months ago

That is a lovely thought.

Littlefin
2 months ago

I see the reason for the reswim: hansson didn’t have a fair chance to race because of the malfunction. I don’t understand why the times from the first final couldn’t stand, though. Reswim it, sure, but my view is the times from the second final should only be taken into account if they’re faster than the first. It seems more fair to all of them?

Sam B
Reply to  Littlefin
2 months ago

good idea, 2nd race optional. everyone’s best time counts

Swum
Reply to  Littlefin
2 months ago

I guess it would still be unfair to Hands-on because she would have only one final to make a good time while the others would have two chances.
Any way, this king of problems should not happen during a European championship

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is an active …

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