Punches Observed In Olympic Open Water Final
Images courtesy of NBCOlympics.com of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Story courtesy of David Rieder for Swimming World Magazine about the 2016 Rio Olympic Games 10 km marathon swim.
Sid Cassidy, head referee at the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, stated to Swimming World Magazine, “[Jack] Burnell earned a red card for turning around and punching another swimmer in the head warranting an immediate ejection. Whether or not this was caused by interference does not have a bearing on the disqualification. This was called by my assistant and I upheld it.”
The rest of the story about the final stages of the marathon swim – and the fierce battle between Burnell and defending Olympic champion Ous Mellouli was reported here in Swimming World Magazine.
For more information and comments on the frantic finish, read here (Is Open Water A Bar Brawl Or Swimming With Physicality?) where Burnell was quoted as saying, “In the end apparently I was disqualified, about 2 meters from finish. [My] first yellow card I got was coming down the straight back here – I was second, there was nobody either side of me, and the guy pulls out a yellow card! I couldn’t have physically touched anybody. The yellow card there is meant to be for unnecessary contact. What do you want me to do? I just shook my head at the guy.”
Swimming World Magazine reported that Cassidy and British Swimming officials watched the incident in slow motion after the race was completed and observed that Burnell’s fist did come in contact with Mellouli’s head.
Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Southern California native, born 1962, is the creator of the WOWSA Awards, Oceans Seven, Openwaterpedia, Citrus Corps, World Open Water Swimming Association, Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Global Open Water Swimming Conference. He is Chief Executive Officer of KAATSU Global and KAATSU Research Institute. Inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Swimmer, Class of 2001) and Ice Swimming Hall of Fame (Honor Contributor – Media, Class of 2019), recipient of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Poseidon Award (2016), International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award (2010), USA Swimming’s Glen S. Hummer Award (2007, 2010) and Harvard University’s John B. Imrie Award (1984). Served on the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and as Technical Delegate with the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and 9-time USA Swimming coaching staff.