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IN Sports ON 01 Dec, 2016
A nine-year-old, autistic Olympic swimmer from County Antrim (Northen Ireland) was left confused and upset after he was disqualified for 'winning' his 50m final in the fastest time.
Yes, you read it correctly.
This special swimmer may miss out on competing at the All-Ireland Special Olympics after winning his final in too less time.
Rory, a nine-year-old autistic swimmer, was competing in the Special Olympics Regional finals in Bangor and having swum 1m 3secs in his heat.
Notwithstanding, being the youngest contender in the race, Rory smashed the race and won the competition with a personal best of 53.1 seconds.
Following the finals, when the medals were handed out to the winners, Rory's mom Briony couldn't understand why her son was being offered with a ribbon for participation rather than a gold medal he was foreseeing for the first place.
Rory's mother, Briony who was infuriated by the circumstances, went to clarify what the problem was with the judges, who told her that Rory was disbarred because 'he swam too fast'.
Apparently one can't be more than 15% faster than the time they swam in their heats just in case they are attempting to swim slower in their heat to be placed in a lower division's final.
Now, someone, please explain, how a 9-year-old child would think of doing that calculation?
"This is a child with special needs and when he excels he is penalised instead of being encouraged. To be honest, I didn't know whether to shout or cry," Briony said.
Rory asked her,"If I go in the race do I have to go slow or will I get disqualified again?" Briony told him to go out and swim the way he did before, but later, the whole time she watched him, she was afraid that maybe he would go too fast again and judges would disqualify him, the second time.
Rory raced in two other finals and won gold for both the relay and 25meters.
Later, Briony said, "Thankfully, winning the other medals softened the blow for him but he is still upset and feels he has done something wrong even though he swam well."