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Second-placed swimmer boldly defends winner who was disqualified for his post-victory celebration

After getting a sweet taste of victory, the winner didn't realize that his celebration would end up in him losing his 1st place.

Second-placed swimmer boldly defends winner who was disqualified for his post-victory celebration
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Guduru Ajay Bhargav

Celebrating a win is a natural response, but in competitive sports, even a moment of joy can lead to unforeseen consequences. Though it's a natural response to celebrate a win, it might get one into trouble, particularly in the world of sports. Recently, a swimmer had to go through one such unfortunate injunction when his winning title was revoked because of a technicality in the rulebook. As reported by Swim Swam, NC State University's champion Owen Lloyd came first in the 1,650-meter freestyle swimming race at the ACC Championships held on February 24. But to his surprise, he was stripped of the title shortly after his post-race celebration. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jim De Ramos
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Jim De Ramos

Lloyd finished the championship race in just 14:37.04 as he touched the wall first ahead of every other contestant. As he popped out of the water and looked around him, he realized that he was the first to finish and was on cloud nine. The swimmer got too excited and jumped on the lane rope dividing each contestant. He sat there for a while and was soaking in the taste of sweet victory. However, amidst his celebration, Lloyd fell over into Ross Dant's lane. Dant, who finished second, embraced Lloyd as the two were glad about their achievements. Though Lloyd swiftly swam back to his lane, he did not realize that he was breaking the rules by interfering in another lane while the race was still going on.

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A post shared by Owen Lloyd (@owen.lloyd_)


NCAA guidelines are clear: any competitor who interferes with another swimmer's race, even post-completion, faces disqualification. So, when Lloyd was savoring his glorious win, the official championship results announced that he was disqualified. The first place was then offered to Ross Dant, who actually finished second, just two seconds after Lloyd. Sharing his disbelief over this decision, Lloyd wrote in his Instagram post, "Upset, angry, and confused about what happened tonight, but not defeated. They can take away the points and the official win but they can never take away my drive, my passion and my love for my team." Dant was seen booing this decision in a video on YouTube. 

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A post shared by Owen Lloyd (@owen.lloyd_)


Though Lloyd took this incident as a lesson, he still thought that it was unfair because he never interfered with Dant's time to complete the race. "But I know that I am not finished and that all of this just added more fuel to the fire. Thankful for everyone who supported, cheered, booed and helped me get to where I am, we ain’t done yet," Lloyd mentioned. Speaking to Pack Pride, Dant defended Lloyd, saying, "I think that's the dumbest rule in swimming. Owen beat me fair and square. He should be on the top of the podium. He was excited. That was a huge win for him. He earned that. He earned that and that's his emotion." The official winner added, "That's what we get in the sport of swimming when we do well. We train all year for a moment like that. To have him disqualified, I think, is the dumbest thing ever."


Exhibiting remarkable sportsmanship, Dant genuinely recognized Lloyd's efforts to receive the title. "He works so hard every day. He is going to be on the number one trophy. I am not going to stand up there," said Dant. However, the results were final and Lloyd remained disqualified. Also, he will not be able to compete in the 1650-meter freestyle category race of the NCAA championship. The swimmer, however, won gold in the 500-meter freestyle and the 400-meter individual medley, which made him eligible for that category in future NCAA competitions. 

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