The 2022 FINA World Swimming Championships were off to smooth sailing, which quickly went downhill in the men’s 50m backstroke event. As chaos filled the pool, Justin Ress and Hunter Armstrong went through a whirlwind to say the least. The 50m backstroke medals were presented twice after a rollercoaster of events took place in just 30 minutes.
At first, Justin Ress of America was said to win the 50m gold medal after touching the wall first. But in a series of shocking events, the gold was given to his teammate Hunter Armstrong instead after he was disqualified because he was completely submerged upon finishing. While Armstrong took the gold with a time of 24.14s, he shared some emotional words for his teammate on the podium.
Hunter Armstrong takes silver while Justin Ress takes gold after disqualification overturn
“I’m very disappointed my teammate was disqualified and hopefully Team USA’s protest will be successful,” Armstrong said to yahoo.com. This ended up working for Ress, as his disqualification was soon overturned, and the appeal was successful. So, in a bizarre second podium, Ress stood alone at the top as the national anthem played for him.
The swimming world was quite confused as to why Ress was on the podium alone, especially considering that the podium was now changed. However, a moment of sportsmanship was seen before the decision as Armstrong went over and put the gold medal around Ress’ neck after the initial podium ceremony.