29 March 2004

Rules are Rules!

Today the Monday issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) editorializes on the unfortunate fate of Australian swimming marvel Ian Thorpe after he was "sensationally disqualified" from the opening day of the Olympic team trials in Sydney yesterday.

Ian Thorpe, also known as "torpedo Thorpe" because of his undefeated record of 3:40 in the 400-meter freestyle, got disqualified on Saturday after tumbling into the pool before the starter's gun fired. The hullabaloo comes from the "one-start rule" that is a strict rule meant to prevent false starts from contestants. The penalty is disqualification.

Thorpe's camp appealed hard saying that "Thorpe had heard a noise" and thought it was the starter's gun. The jury, comprising FINA-accredited officials Geoff Hare, Judith Smith and Pat Troy, however, ruled that the disqualification would stand.

He though he heard something. He jumped. He lost automatically.

Aussie PM John Howard was said to have been "devastated" and remarked that "It's a tragedy that one of the greatest swimmers this country has produced is not going to be performing in his prime event."

Tracey Menzies, his coach had the following sentiments:

"He is only human; he's not a machine, and we saw that yesterday."

"We've just got to stand high and walk strong. It's a decision that has been made.

"It's not Australian Swimming's call; it was the officials that made that call."

The disqualification was "probably not the best memory in my life", as the race was "something that we've worked really hard for."

"In many ways it's a good learning curve for both of us," she added.

"Things happen in life for a reason. It will make us tougher and make us realise that . . . you have to work hard for anything that's given to you, and we'll just have to work a bit harder now."

Even in an unwanted defeat, the Aussies are gracious, unlike our government officials here.

Rules are rules. No matter who gets affected. I agree with the PDI that this news, unfortunate as it maybe for the Thorpedo, is an enlightening example that Philippine government officials should see and emulate.

CREDIT: Photo clip courtesy of Australia's The Sunday Mail.

Breaking News March 30 2004 /01:05:21

Well, well...life may not be that bad at all for the Aussies. The Thorpedo is back in the saddle after having won the 200 metres freestyle final at the Olympic trials at the Sydney Aquatic Centre. Read all about it here.

All's well that ends well.

CREDIT: Photo clip courtesy of Australia's The Age.

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