Ress, American swimmer, wins gold after initial disqualification in Budapest miracle
Call it the miracle of Budapest and you will be damn right, but Ress it happen to him
From George Aluo in Budapest, Hungary
After being disqualified, American swimmer Justin Ress in a rare decision got re-instated and won gold in the process.
Justin Ress was initially disqualified for being submerged at the finish.
“An official told me that was the first time that ever happened,” Ress said of being reinstated as World champion. “That was my first individual gold so anything would have been a first for me. They have ‘Make History’ signs everywhere and I guess I made history!,” Ress told FINA media.
Ress swam a 24.12, ahead of American Hunter Armstrong who was visibly not happy when Ress’ disqualification appeared on the board. Armstrong, although the world record holder, was gracious in giving his gold medal to Ress after the medal ceremony.
“Hunter has stunned me with his maturity today and his constant support. All the way through from right after the race, he said, ‘you need to do the interview with me.’ I was too mad to do it of course, but it was non-stop support the whole time. It was unreal.”
Armstrong finished second at 24.14, adding to his bronze in the 100 on Monday night.
Ress, who nearly retired in December, moved across the United States to train with coach Jeff Julian in Mission Viejo.
“It puts the whole offseason into a nice little bow-tie,” Ress said. “I grew as a person so much more than I ever have and that just translated to being an athlete and to see it come together like that is incredible.”
Poland’s Ksawery Masiuk won the silver medal by virtue of his 24.49 at just 17 years old. Masiuk was a two-time European Juniors champion last year in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and wins his first senior medal before his 18th birthday in December.
“It is amazing, I wasn’t really expecting this, I hoped I could do a personal best in the final and it happened. I’m just very happy and can’t really describe my feelings.”
After setting the 100m backstroke world record earlier here in Budapest, Italy’s Thomas Ceccon was fourth in this one in 24.51.