Update: FINA has decided to overturn the disqualification of the defending 400 free gold medalist Tae-Hwan Park. NBC announcer Dan Hicks first broke the news on Twitter that “indications were” that Park would be let back in. It was later confirmed by FINA and South Korean officials.
This means that Canada’s Ryan Cochrane, who had been 8th in the prelims, will now be moved out of the final.
In an official statement, FINA said: “The FINA Jury of Appeal met today in the Aquatic Centre and examined the protest lodged by the Korean Swimming Federation regarding the disqualification of swimmer Tae-Hwan Park in the heats of the men’s 400m free, and based on the recommendation of the FINA Technical Swimming Commission decided to reinstate the above mentioned swimmer in the final of the men’s 400m free.”
Below was the original post, shortly after prelims:
All is not said-and-done in the disqualification of South Korea’s Tae-Hwan Park in the men’s 400 free. The defending Olympic champion, after winning his morning heat, was disqualified for an alleged false start. Video review, however, at any speed did not seem to indicate any such issue.
FINA is allowing the protest to proceed, at least, and it will hold a “jury of appeal” to decide on the matter.
The move is not totally unprecedented; recall that at the 2004 Olympics, American Aaron Peirsol was DQ’ed after winning the 200 back final. That call was overturned, and then considered further after dual protests before Peirsol was officially left with the gold medal.
FINA has confirmed that the call was made by an official on deck, not by any sort of reaction pad or technology. This could play into whether or not an official may have mistaken the lane he saw move.