USA Swimming has won its appeal over Fran Crippen's right to the bronze medal in the 10km world-title race at Ostia yesterday.
USA Swimming issued the following release today:
Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.) Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) officially earned the silver and bronze medal, respectively, in the men’s 10K open water race at the FINA World Championships. The race took place on Wednesday, July 22, however, results were not finalized until today, following the decision made by the Jury D’Appel represented by the FINA Bureau.
The decision involved the finish of Crippen, which was protested by Italy and Greece. The Chief Judge initially validated the protest, but the United States successfully appealed to the Jury D’Appel, which ruled in favor of Crippen on Thursday.
“I’m extremely happy. It’s a little bit weird, because you always want to win based on your performance and I thought I did that yesterday,” said Crippen following the FINA ruling. “The last 20 hours have been extremely frustrating, but we were able to get through it. The appeal went in our favor today and we are all extremely happy because of that and because of our great day yesterday.”
Gemmell, 18, finished second to champion Thomas Lurz of Germany. The medals for Gemmell and Crippen are the first World Championship medals for both swimmers, and mark the first time that two U.S. open water swimmers have finished in the top three in one event. The Open Water 10K was officially added to the Olympic program for the 2008 Olympic Games.
“I think it’s great that we have such depth in U.S. open water,” said U.S. Open Water Head Coach Catherine Vogt. “I think that this can really reach out to more kids out there, and let them know that this is attainable and there are a lot of ways to get here.”
Open water action concludes on Saturday with the men’s and women’s 25K races. Emily Hanson (Bloomington, Ill.) and Eva Fabian (Keene, NH) will compete for the women, while Sean Ryan (Hixon, Tenn.) and Alex Meyer (Ithaca, NY) will represent the men’s team.