‘Laughing stock’: Polish swimmers FURIOUS after being sent home from Tokyo Olympics after hapless officials send TOO MANY athletes
Twenty-three Polish swimmers packed their bags for Tokyo in the hopes of chasing Olympic glory, only for the president of the nation's swimming federation (PZP) to announce that the number would need to be trimmed to 17 based on the qualifying rules imposed by governing body FINA.
"I express great regret, sadness and bitterness about the situation related to the qualification of our swimmers for the Olympic Games in Tokyo," said PZP chief Pawel Slominsk in a groveling apology to the six unfortunate stars.
"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."
Slominsk put the blunder down to “a desire to allow as many athletes and coaches as possible to take part in the Games.”
Instead, officials have succeeding in shattering the hopes of the sextet of swimmers, with the unfortunate group named as Alicja Tchorz, Bartosz Piszczorowicz, Aleksandra Polanska, Mateusz Chowaniec, Dominika Kossakowska and Jan Holub.
Tchorz, who competed at the past two editions of the Games, vented her fury on social media.
“Imagine dedicating five years of your life and striving for another start at the most important sporting event... giving up your private life and work, sacrificing your family... your dedication results in a total flop," wrote the 28-year-old on Facebook.
“Six days before the grand finale, it turns out that you were denied your dreams because of the incompetence of third parties. It's hard to gather your thoughts, and there are a few hours left to pack your suitcase.”
Just days previously, Tchorz had shared an excited post on social media detailing how she had given the Olympic oath and was looking ahead to what was to come in Tokyo.
Her anger at developments was echoed by teammate Chowaniec, who likewise fumed on Instagram.
"I'm deeply shocked by what happened...," wrote the swimmer.
"This is an absurd situation for me that should never have happened. In fact, I hope to wake up from this nightmare eventually."
Chowaniec and Tchorz both shared an open letter to the Polish swimming authorities which called for the entire PZP board to resign.
“The actions of the Association led to an unprecedented event in the history of Polish sport,” read the letter, as reported by swimswam.com.
“In addition, Polish swimming – both in the eyes of the public and potential sponsors – has been exposed as a laughing stock, and it will have a glaring effect on all competitors who compete in the white and red colors on a daily basis.”
Events in the pool at the Tokyo Aquatics Center are due to get underway on Saturday, which is Day Two of the Games.Also on rt.com Games OVER? Tokyo chief refuses to rule out LAST-MINUTE CANCELATION of Covid-hit Olympics