The swimming community is a tight knit group. So, when USA Swimming released its roster for the upcoming Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi and Coleman Stewart was not included, it prompted a mixture of disbelief and frustration.
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 him for the 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 absence, quickly angered fellow swimmers and fans alike. Many taking to social media to voice their displeasure, which was evident by the comments on 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 also spoke further on the issue on the podcast Inside with Brett Hawke, in which he stated 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 am not completely versed on the intricate rules of swimming, nor qualification criteria. However, it does not take rocket science to see how absurd this is. There is no excuse for such a rule that, now, will prevent Stewart from competing at a championship he deserves to be in. 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