Poland sack six swimmers from Tokyo after bringing in too many

TOKYO – Six Polish swimmers were sent home after the Olympics this week after the country’s swimming federation arrived in Japan with too many competitors.

Poland initially selected 23 swimmers for the Tokyo Games, but had to narrow their list to 17 based on world swimming qualifying rules. As the team had already arrived in Japan, that meant the disqualified swimmers – who had been feted on departure and had taken the Olympic oath – had to return to Warsaw on Sunday, just days before the opening ceremony.

One of the swimmers, Alicja Tchorz, expressed her indignation at the fiasco in a Facebook post and called for the resignation of the federation leadership.

“Imagine dedicating 5 years of your life and fighting for another start at the most important sporting event,” wrote Tchorz, who swam for Poland at the 2012 and 2016 Games. , sacrifice his family, etc. “

Her frustrations escalated, she said, learning “6 days before the grand finale, it turns out that your dreams were denied to you because of the incompetence of others.”

In an interview after returning to Warsaw, she said she and her teammates plan to press charges and demand the dismissal of the officials responsible for the mistake. “The absolute minimum is resignation from the board,” Tchorz said. “All dignity demands it.”

The other swimmers told they would not be able to compete were identified in reports and social media posts as Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.

A video shared on social media by a Polish journalist showed the swimmers who had been ordered to return home cuddling and saying goodbye to other members of the Polish delegation before their departure last weekend .

In a lengthy statement explaining the error, Polish Swimming Federation President Pawel Slominski expressed regret for the error, but also tried to attribute some of the blame to the swimming qualifying rules and the Polish Olympic committee.

“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness at the situation,” Slominski said in the statement. “Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable and justified to me.”

On Instagram, Chowaniec blasted “the incompetent” at the head of the swimming federation.

“I am deeply shocked by what has happened and it is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened,” he wrote. “In fact, I hope to wake up from this NIGHTMARE one day!”

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