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Park Tae-Hwan Reinstated To 400 Final

Jul 28, 2012

Park Tae-Hwan (KOR) is back in the 400m freestyle final after the Jury of Appeal from FINA voted in his favour. That means that Ryan Cochrane (CAN) is now 9th and out of the final this evening.

Park, the defending champion, ws said to have moved on his blocks this morning. He was disqualified and his appeal rejected by the referee.

A FINA statement read:

The FINA Jury of Appeal met today in the Aquatic Centre and examined the protest lodged by the Korean Swimming Federation regarding the disqualification of swimmer Tae-Hwan Park in the heats of the men’s 400m free, and based on the recommendation of the FINA Technical Swimming Commission decided to reinstate the above mentioned swimmer in the final of the men’s 400m free.

Canadians held a press conference shortly before the finals session on Saturday to announce that this was a "bump in the road" in terms of Cochrane's exclusion from the final - but that they had full confidence in the Technical Committee's decision.

"It's a pretty clear process when someone files an appeal," said Swimming Canada's CEO Pierre Lafontaine. "Based on extensive discussions with all the parties involved and videos, they made an educated decision."

Head Coach Randy Bennett admitted they had been surprised to hear the decision - as they left the pool thinking Cochrane was in the final and only found out after all decisions were final - about 3:30pm.

"But Ryan's pretty philosophical about swimming and he knows he needed to be fast enough. He's very professionsal and (...) tough as nails. It's a bump, and the immediate process now is to get ready for the next day. And he's pretty good at that - he's been to enough of these meets."

Lafontaine did add that discussions such as this did raise the question of why the sport does not yet allow underwater cameras for judging purposes. "We were on the short end of the stick this time - but we now have katherine Savard who snuck into the semi fo the 100 fly - so sometimes luck is on your side and sometimes not."