The first South Korean swimmer in history to win Olympic gold, Park Tae-Hwan was disqualified from defending his 400-meter freestyle crown Saturday morning, but he won his appeal and has been reinstated to swim Saturday night. The bizarre turn of events left Canadian Ryan Cochrane, who had been bumped into the finals with Park's disqualification, out of the event. Park was disqualified for leaving his block a little early, but here's Reuters' explanation of the overturn:
FINA said the unusual reversal was based on the recommendation of its technical swimming commission but provided no further details in a one paragraph statement that begged plenty of questions.
An official for the governing body told Reuters the original disqualification had been based on visual evidence rather than technology.
Park was disqualified in his Olympic debut in Athens in 2004 for the same mistake, Reuters said. According to NBC's Andrea Kremer, Canada has filed a protest of the decision on Cochrane's behalf.
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