Expect The Unexpected In The Chlorinated Water Too

Expect The Unexpected In The Chlorinated Water Too

Expect the unexpected is the well-known mantra of open water swimmers.

But the concept was also an issue in the women’s 100m breaststroke yesterday in London when an equipment malfunction surprised the field and officials.

The audio beep of the starter was heard but only American Breeja Larson dove into the water. The audience gasped and the officials froze with surprise. The hearts of the athletes on the pool were bumping like never before a race start, none like Larson who feared a disqualification.

Everyone caught their breaths and breathed a sign of relief when the officials did not disqualify Larson.

Larson told Swimming World Magazine, “I took my mark. The bip went. It was just a swimmer’s reaction. You dive and go. Jumping in early kind of messed me a little bit mentally. You appreciate good things when bad things happen. You have to make mistakes before getting them right. Next time I race this I will think ‘you made this mistake at the Olympics but you have to move on’.”

And that is what 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania did. After the officials gave the athletes a bit of time to gather themselves, Meilutyte, favored Rebecca Soni and Larson stood up on the starting blocks. Meilutyte shot out like a canon and had the lead after 50m. She held off fast-charging Soni at the wall to become Lithuania’s first swimming gold medalist.

I can’t believe it,” Swimming World Magazine reported on Meilutyte’s reaction after her unexpected gold medal swim. “It’s too much for me. I really can’t say anything. It was hard and difficult. At the moment I can’t speak too much. But it means a lot to me and I’m so proud.”

Hard, difficult and unexpected.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
Steven Munatones