TOKYO — Six Polish swimmers had been despatched home from the Olympics this week after the nation’s swimming federation arrived in Japan with too many rivals.
Poland initially chosen 23 swimmers for the Tokyo Games however needed to trim its checklist to 17 primarily based on world swimming’s qualifying guidelines.
One of the swimmers, Alicja Tchorz, who competed on the 2012 and 2016 Games, expressed outrage on the fiasco and on the federation’s management in a Facebook post.
“Imagine dedicating 5 years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event,” she wrote, “giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family, etc.”
Her frustrations had been amplified, she stated, upon studying “6 days before the grand finale, it turns out that you were denied your dreams because of the incompetence of third parties.”
A video shared on social media by a Polish journalist confirmed the swimmers who had been ordered home sharing hugs and saying goodbye to different members of the Polish delegation earlier than their departure on Sunday.
The different swimmers knowledgeable they might not compete had been recognized in information reviews and social media posts as Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.
In a lengthy statement explaining the error, the president of Poland’s swimming federation, Pawel Slominski, expressed remorse for the error but additionally tried to assign among the blame to swimming’s qualifying guidelines and to Poland’s Olympic committee.
“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation,” Slominski stated within the assertion. “Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.”
On Instagram, Chowaniec railed against “the incompetent people” main the swimming federation.
“I am deeply shocked by what happened and this is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened,” he wrote. “In fact, I hope to wake up from this NIGHTMARE eventually!”