As reported by marca.com, the participation of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in the American University League (NCAA I) final is causing two effects: the athlete won her first title yesterday, in the 500-yard final (about 450 meters), and his presence in this competition triggered a mixture of signs of rejection and support.
The NCAA swimming and diving final kicked off on Wednesday and so the controversy surrounding Thomas has shifted from specialized forums and media to the grandstands and swimming pool of Atlanta Tech University, home of the competition. ” Cheater ,” or ” cheater ” told the athlete someone present during the heats: defenders and detractors of the swimmer exchanged messages on banners such as ” We support the right sport for women and girls “, ” Let’s save women’s sport” or, alternatively, “We support trans and queer athletes ”.
Thomas set the best qualifying time for the final in the 500-yard heats (4: 33.82), three seconds faster than two runners-up at the Tokyo Games, Erica Sullivan and Emma Weyant. In the final the differences were reduced: Thomas won with a time very similar to that of the morning (4: 33.24), second was Weyant (4: 34.99) and third Sullivan (4: 35.92). The latter had stated before the competition that it is not a problem for her to swim with Thomas.