Updated 07/20/2021 – 12:31
Poland has been forced to send home six swimmers who were already in Tokyo after admitting that they had mistakenly selected more athletes than could compete. Poland initially chose 23 swimmers, but had to reduce that number to 17 according to FINA qualification rules.
The president of the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP), Pawel Slominski, apologized and said he understands the anger of those who have returned home. “I express great regret, sadness and bitterness over the situation,” he said in a statement. “This should not happen, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions and the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.” Slominski added that the error was due to “a desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to participate in the Games.”
This should not happen, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions and the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.
Pawel Slominski, President of the Polish Swimming Federation
One of the six affected swimmers, Alicja Tchorz, who represented Poland at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, He expressed his anger at the mistake on social media. “Imagine dedicating five years of your life and fighting for another start at the biggest sporting event, giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family and your dedication results in total failure,” he wrote on Facebook.
I hope to eventually wake up from this nightmare
Mateusz Chowaniec, Polish swimmer
Also Mateusz Chowaniec assured on Instagram that “I am deeply shocked by what happened. This is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to eventually wake up from this nightmare.”
The majority of the Polish swimming team has signed an open letter to the PZP asking the board to resign over the incident.