USA Swimming Apologizes to Erin Gemmell for Worlds Selection Error Last Year

USA Swimming issued an apology to Erin Gemmell on Friday for making a selection error last year that robbed her of a trip to the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Gemmell placed 7th in the 200-meter freestyle at last year’s U.S. International Team Trials, but she was left off the Worlds roster after Katie Ledecky dropped the 200 free from her lineup. When Ledecky did the same thing this year, 7th-place finisher Anna Peplowski was promoted to the Worlds team, as was customary in years past.

“One important procedure that came in to play both in 2023 and 2022 is the promotion of the 7th fastest finisher in the 200 freestyle to the 4×200 relay upon withdrawal of a top athlete from the 200 freestyle,” USA Swimming said in its final roster announcement.

“In 2022, USA Swimming made a selection error which resulted in Erin Gemmell, the 7th fastest finisher in the 200 freestyle, not being named to the Worlds team. Instead, Gemmell was named to the Junior Pan Pacific Championships where she earned high point honors while leading the U.S. team to the top of the medal table. This year, a similar athlete withdrawal situation occurred in the 200 freestyle, and we followed the selection procedures correctly in allowing for the promotion of Anna Peplowski to the Worlds team.

“We realize the error in 2022 caused major disappointment for Gemmell, her coaches, and her family,” the organization added. “USA Swimming extends our most sincere apologies to Erin, and we celebrate her qualification to this year’s World Aquatics Championships team.”

Gemmell, an 18-year-old Texas commit, made the Worlds team this year with a fourth-place finish in the 200 free (1:56.23). Her dad, Bruce Gemmell, used to coach Ledecky at the Nation’s Capital Swim Club.

At last year’s Junior Pan Pacs, Gemmell won the 100 free, 200 free, and 400 free while breaking meet records in all three events.

Selection criteria for international events must be “consistently applied” in order for USA Swimming to continue to be certified as a national governing body, as per the Ted Stevens Amateur Sports Act.

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1 year ago

Glad to see USA Swimming owning this one.

Now, about that OMR / SWIMS debacle …….

1 year ago

Fat chance.

1 year ago

🎶You know it’s just too little too late🎶

Swim Fan
1 year ago

Who cares about the men’s relay. What about Erin Gemmell and the women’s relay?

Viking Steve
1 year ago

Sounds like a forced apology to try to get out in front of a pending lawsuit to me!

I’m not a USA swimming lawyer, but if I were, I’d try to settle real quick, because I don’t think that case is going to go well for them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Viking Steve
Coach Tom
Reply to  Viking Steve
1 year ago

You generally don’t apologize if you are trying to get out in front of a lawsuit, as it admits wrongdoing. An apology usually comes after a lawsuit as part of a settlement.

1 year ago

No mention of the word settlement. Did USA swimming just invite themselves a lawsuit?

1 year ago

2023 World Aquatics Championships
USA Swimming

Introducing Katie Ledecky and W 4 x 200 FR-R:

comment image

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 year ago

claire weinstein is a pretty big duck too…

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

Not surprising. Never assume sophistication. I learned that in Las Vegas while working as sportsbook supervisor. People thought we were all knowing and trying to trap people. Meanwhile we had no idea which employees would show up and we were life and death to have the same odds on the betting board as in our computer.

I’ve seen numerous mistakes like this. A few months ago the biathlon federation screwed up its own rules regarding how many athletes were eligible for world championships from various nations. The biathlon subreddit caught it and wondered what was going on. The veteran Italian biathlete Federica Sanfilippo was left off the team and retired immediately. Her famous teammate Dorothea Wierer was furious at the… Read more »

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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