Molly Hannis’s 100 Breast DQ Overturned; Trials Will Have 9-Woman 100 BR Final

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Officials have overturned a semifinals disqualification on Molly Hannisadding her into tonight’s final as the Olympic selection heat’s 9th swimmer.

Hannis, a 2016 U.S. Olympian in the 200 breast, finished 6th in last night’s 100 breast semifinal. But she was disqualified out of the race – at the time, we were told the DQ came for underwater dolphin kicks. In breaststroke, each swimmer is allowed just one downward dolphin kick on the underwater pullout off of each start or wall.

Hannis did not appear on the original start lists for the final. But sometime between last night and this afternoon, Hannis’s DQ was officially overturned, her 1:07.15 returned to 6th-place in the semifinals, and her name added to the start list for tonight’s final.

Kaitlyn Dobler was the swimmer who moved to 8th place with Hannis’s DQ. Rather than bumping Dobler out of the final, officials chose to add Hannis into the final and keep Dobler – leaving the Olympic Trials final with an unorthodox 9 swimmers.

The decision to hold a 9-person final is at the referee’s discretion. We actually saw this same situation in the Wave I Olympic Trials meet last week, with an overturned DQ leading to a 9-swimmer A final in the women’s 200 IM. (Oddly enough, in that case, the DQ’d swimmer was placed in “lane 0” on the side of the pool, with the original 8 swimmers named to the final keeping their original lanes. This time around, Hannis was placed into lane 7 where a 6th-place finisher would be placed. It’s Dobler who was bumped out to lane 0).

The swimmer originally DQ’d in Wave I, Tennessee’s Trude Rothrock, wound up finishing fourth and just 1.1 seconds away from transferring on to the Wave II Trials meet.

In another situation at Wave I, in the men’s 200 breaststroke, Ethan Dang and Jacob Schababerle originally tied for 8th and were set to swim-off for a spot in the A final. An earlier DQ in the event was overturned, however, bumping them to the B final, where Schababerle swam the 3rd-fastest time overall.

This presents some inconsistency in the decision-making that hasn’t been given formal explanation, but seems to revolve around timing – whether the meet sheet for the final has been printed or not when the DQ is overturned.

This time around, though, it’s not just a transfer to another Wave on the line – it’s a qualification for the Olympic Games. Hannis has only been 1:07.7 and 1:07.1 in her two swims so far (well behind the trio of 1:05s currently expected to battle it out for two Olympic spots). But Hannis has a career-best of 1:05.78 from the summer of 2018 and has proven she can excel in the Olympic Trials spotlight. In 2016, Hannis came through with one of the most buzzworthy swims of Olympic Trials, skipping the underwater pullout entirely on the last wall of her 200 breast and surging from 4th to 2nd on the final 50 to make the Olympic team.

Hannis has always had a bit of an outside-the-box breaststroke kick, as we profiled back in 2016. She gets a lot of extra propulsion from an upward snap of her feet at the end of each breaststroke kick. While some fans have complained about that stroke, the concept of an upward dolphin kick at the end of a breaststroke kick is entirely legal within the FINA rulebook. Downward dolphin kicks during the stroke are not allowed, and underwater, athletes are only allowed a single downward dolphin kick per wall.

It’s not clear whether Hannis’s overturned DQ is related to that upward snap of the feet during the stroke, or to the underwater pullout portion as originally indicated. We’re working to get an explanation from meet officials and will update this story when we learn more.

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BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

Neat. Kinda hoping she makes the team so we can have a cool new swimming trivia question.

Penguin
1 month ago

Thanks for this article. I also appreciate the paragraph about her unconventional stroke.

neffry
1 month ago

A lot of Pick ’em participants are probably nodding their approval because of this. 😀

Dudeman
1 month ago

Interesting how the comment pointing out her stroke 4 years ago was evidently, an incredibly unpopular opinion, that same comment made now seems like it would get a lot more support around here

IU Swammer
Reply to  Dudeman
1 month ago

Meh. She’s not named Cody or Lilly and doesn’t train under Ray Looze, so I doubt many SwimSwam warriors are going to give her any flack.

Gowdy Raines
Reply to  IU Swammer
1 month ago

Easy there Lily’s White Knight

Dudeman
Reply to  IU Swammer
1 month ago

Shymanovich would like to have a word then

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  IU Swammer
1 month ago

Cody who?

Hswimmer
1 month ago

Well it shouldn’t have been over turned, but for my Pickrems sake I agree. 😁

Alex
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Why shouldn’t they overturn an incorrect disqualification?

Hswimmer
Reply to  Alex
1 month ago

You can see her kick go down at the end of every stroke clearly.

Alex
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Oh wow thank you so much for your incredibly important insight! What was it like being on the team of officials that reviewed the underwater footage used to overturn the DQ?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Her feet are everted. That’s legal, and effective. If her feet were inverted, it would be a dolphin kick. She has a dolphin motion, but because the feet are everted on the downkick, it’s ciompletely legal. FINA SW 7.5 The feet must be turned outwards during the propulsive part of the kick. Alternating movements or downward butterfly kicks are not permitted except as in SW 7.1. Breaking the surface of the water with the feet is allowed unless followed by a downward butterfly kick.

Taa
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

My Pickrems agree with you even if it only for 4th place

Hswimmer
Reply to  Taa
1 month ago

I have her there also I think

a b
Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

I actually spent a few minutes wondering why Sydney Pickrem wouldn’t want to race Hannis in particular before I figured this out. Long day…

Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

Anyone have video of the semi that shows the illegal kick

Trinidad Scorpion
Reply to  Swimlikefishdrinklikefish
1 month ago

*legal

The White Whale
1 month ago

The nine swimmer heat is a good solution. Glad they didn’t boot Dobler.

Xman
1 month ago

I hope they figure out how to fix this problem. It’s very difficult to officiate. I think they will have to:

1. Change it to allow dolphin kicks but you need to surface by 15m like they do in the other strokes
2. Just get rid of the single downward kick.

Option 1 does kind of suck since it’s not hard to do a pullout to or past the flags in SCY even without a dolphin kick.

Brandi
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Your option 1 is not a good idea – you’ll have swimmers doing 11-13 dolphin kicks all the way to the 15m line.

Gowdy Raines
Reply to  Brandi
1 month ago

precisely this. It then becomes Br with dolphin underwaters.

Xman
Reply to  Brandi
1 month ago

Yes that’s the point of option 1, but you have to surface by 15m.

The White Whale
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Option 2 won’t really work. The reason the dolphin kick was allowed in the first place was because swimmers were doing it illegally and it was too difficult to judge from above. Allowing it was sort of a “if you can’t beat them, join them” thing. Now it can be judged with underwater cameras, but you need rules that are enforceable at all levels of competition.

P K
Reply to  The White Whale
1 month ago

Underwater cameras can only be used for review of disqualifications; the original DQ still must be made from the deck (and the standard of making DQ from the deck is that unless the official is certain, there is no DQ). The ultimate solution is allowing DQ’s to be made from video without a DQ from the deck (e.g. in gymnastics, the judges can look at video replays to make scoring decisions).

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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