Poland DQed In Men’s 4×200 For Not Using Relay-Only Swimmer


After a mistake by the Polish Swimming Federation denied Konrad Czerniak a chance to compete in the 100 free preliminaries a few days ago, another mishap has resulted in their men’s 4×200 free relay being disqualified after they failed to use relay-only swimmer Pawel Werner in the prelims.

The official report reads: “Poland is disqualified because the Relay-Only swimmer Pawel Werner did not swim in the Men’s 4x200m Freestyle.”

Poland went with individual 200 freestylers Jan Switkowski and Kacper Majchrzak in the prelims, along with relay-only swimmers Kacper Klich and Pawel Korzeniowski, who qualified to swim the 100 free and 100 fly individually in Rio.

The rule, put in place by FINA in January, states that any relay-only swimmer must compete in their respective relay or the team will be disqualified. This puts teams right on the edge of making the final in a tough spot, because if they don’t use all their relay-only swimmer in the prelims, even if they intended to slot them in for the final, they’ll get DQed in the event they miss out.

This is what happened to Poland, as they missed out on the final and hadn’t used Werner, disqualifying their relay. It was a somewhat puzzling move putting in Korzeniowski in over Werner. Werner would have likely come in for Klich if they made the final (Klich split just 1:49.52 in the morning).

This isn’t the first time it’s happened here in Rio, as the Hungarian 4×100 and 4×200 free men’s relays took DQs in both race after not swimming all their relay-only swimmers.



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Pau Hana
4 years ago

My guess is that it’s to stop teams from bringing any “Olympic tourists” along – adding swimmers who never compete.

ole 99
Reply to  Pau Hana
4 years ago

Disqualifying a team that doesn’t use all relay only swimmers that also doesn’t make the final is silly. This rule should be removed. What a waste of time and effort to enforce.

Pau Hana
Reply to  ole 99
4 years ago

It’s not like it takes a lot of time or effort to enforce it… and if they’re going to use the rule, they should enforce it. There’s a difference between placing 10th and being DQ’d.

ole 99
Reply to  Pau Hana
4 years ago

Even the little effort is a waste. What harm is being done here and to whom?

4 years ago

This hardly seems like a big deal. DQing a non-finals-qualifying relay after they’ve swum the prelims—so what? Perhaps it sucks to have the record books show “DQ” instead of a time & place. But in a sense, it’s just going for broke—fastest guys in the prelims with “all-or-nothing” (i.e., “finals-or-DQ”) on the line. (Although, if coaches think a relay-only swimmer isn’t fast enough to get them to finals, then why would they use him/her in finals? Meaning why bring him/her at all? That’s a puzzler.)

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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