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2016 WOWSA AWARD WINNERS
2016 WOWSA Man of the Year – Nejib Belhedi
2016 WOWSA Woman of the Year – Jaimie Monahan
2016 WOWSA Performance of the Year – Sarah Thomas’ Lake Powell Swim
2016 WOWSA Offering of the Year – Samsung Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Why Was Andrew Gemmell Initially Disqualified?
Post-race bedlam with Andrew Gemmell congratulating Ferry Weertman with Ous Mellouli and Brendan Casey meeting the race officials
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
The crazy situation that started to unravel at the final turn buoy at the men's 10 km USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships had its roots during the pre-race technical meeting.
During the technical meeting, head referee Mark McCaw stated that the rules of the competition are based on USA Swimming and FINA rules.
FINA rule OWS 7.2.2 states that "It is mandatory for all swimmers to wear a microchip transponder on each wrist throughout the race. If a swimmer loses a transponder the Race Judge or other authorised Official, will immediately inform the Referee who will instruct the responsible Official on the water to issue a replacement transponder. Any swimmer who finishes the race without a transponder will be disqualified."
Under this scenario, Andrew Gemmell lost his transponder during the race and finished with only one chip on one wrist. The race officials initially ruled him in violation of FINA OWS 7.2.2. This caused some confusion at the end of the race and led to a protest of the ruling.
The protest of the ruling was upheld and Gemmell's victory was reinstated because the USA Swimming regulations did not specifically include a ruling like FINA OWS 7.2.2. Since the competition was an official USA Swimming national championship, the USA Swimming rules prevailed and Gemmell was judged the winner (see official results below).
So what is the background of FINA OWS 7.2.2?
Originally when transponders started to be utilized at open water swimming competitions, some athletes did not like the transponders on their wrists and they purposefully discarded the transponders during the races. This not only causes race officials to have to purchase additional transponders, but it also caused problems with the timing system.
So FINA OWS 7.2.2 was added to the FINA rule book. With its influence over the global governing bodies, FINA's rules became the de facto regulations over the sport. But there remained a slight discrepancy between the FINA rulebook and the USA Swimming rulebook when it comes to transponders.
American Olympic open water coach John Dussliere observed, "Andrew had the presence of mind to hit the finish pad purposefully with his hand that had the transponder on."
Reminiscent of his silver medal performance at the 2009 FINA World Championships in Rome when he overcame over 50 competitors during the second half of the race and his previous two national 10 km championship swims, Gemmell came through at the end by virtue of his stamina, speed, racing savvy and strategic positioning.
2016 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships 10 km Top 10 results:
1 Andrew Gemmell (USA) 1:53:53.79
2 Ferry Weertman (Netherland) 1:53:55.11
3 Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia) 1:53:55.56
4 Alex Meyer (USA) 1:53:57.40
5 Marc Antoine (France) 1:53:58.93
6 Jarrod Poort (Australia) 1:54:05.33
7 Brendan Casey (USA) 1:54:07.02
8 Richard Weinberger (Canada) 1:54:07.24
9 Sean Ryan (USA) 1:54:12.25
10 Yasunari Hirai (Japan) 1:54:19.73
Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
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The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.