The swimming community, from swimmers to fans, is a tight knit group. So when Coleman Stewart was snubbed from joining USA Swimming’s team for the Short Course World Championships in December.
If you have not been following along with it, Stewart obliterated the 100 Backstroke world record in the short course meters in August. Naturally, one would say, that would qualify Stewart for Short Course World Championships. Wrong. USA Swimming uses long course times for team selection of short course events.
Yes, you read that right.
The announcement of USA Swimming’s roster, along with Stewart’s notable absence, quickly fumed swimmers and fans alike. Many taking to social media to voice their displeasure, evident by the comments on in this Instagram post from USA Swimming on Thursday. Stewart took to social media himself, posting a statement criticizing USA Swimming and its selection criteria.
Stewart has also spoken further on the issue via the podcast Inside with Brett Hawke, in which he states that he has pretty much been left in the dust by USA Swimming. According to him, the organization has not reached out regarding any sort of status update either way.
I will admit, I’m not completely versed on intricate swimming rules or qualification criteria, but it does not take rocket science to see how absurd this rule is. There is no excuse for such a rule that, now, will prevent Stewart from competing at a championship he deserves to be at. In what universe would using long course times to determine short course qualification be an approved way of doing things? Apparently in USA Swimming’s backwards universe, there is no problem with it.
Photo Courtesy: Jonathan Borba via Unsplash
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