July 20 (Reuters) – The president of the Polish Swimming Federation (PZP) apologized after six athletes were sent home after the Tokyo Games due to an administrative error.
Poland had sent 23 swimmers to Japan, but the PZP was forced to reduce the squad to 17 based on the qualifying rules of the world governing body FINA.
PZP President Pawel Slominski apologized and said he fully understood the anger of the swimmers who returned home over the weekend.
“I express great regret, sadness and bitterness at the situation related to the qualification of our swimmers for the Tokyo Olympics,” Slominski said in a statement. declaration.
“Such a situation should not take place, and the reaction of the swimmers, their emotions, the attack on the Polish Swimming Federation is understandable to me and justified.”
He said the error was due to “the desire to allow as many players and coaches as possible to participate in the Games”.
Media identified the six swimmers as Alicja Tchorz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.
Tchorz, who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Games, expressed his anger on social media.
“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and fighting for another start at the most important sporting event… giving up your privacy and your job, sacrificing your family… your dedication ends in total failure,” she said. declared on Facebook.
Chowaniec added on Instagram: “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. . “
Swimming news site SwimSwam reported that several Polish swimmers signed an open letter to the PZP requesting the resignation of the entire board of the organization.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford
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