Reason Australian Swimmer Tied With Competitor Despite Touching Wall First Revealed

by : Cameron Frew on : 25 Jul 2021 09:26
Reason Australian Swimmer Tied With Competitor Despite Touching Wall First RevealedOlympics/PA Images

A controversial tie between Australia and China’s swimmers at the Tokyo Olympics has finally been explained. 

Yesterday, July 24, Emma McKeon and Yufei Zhang went head to head in the 100m butterfly heat. They managed to complete the race in 55.82 seconds, landing themselves a new Commonwealth record.


However, viewers quickly checked the replay of the heat and saw McKeon touching the wall first, with commentators for the event seeming puzzled at how officials decided on a tie.

‘Of course it doesn’t really matter, but how did Emma McKeon not win that heat from here?’ sports editor Tony Harper tweeted. ‘WTF seriously Emma McKeon touched clearly ahead of China on the wall how on earth can that be a dead heat?’ former cricketer Danny Berry wrote.

‘Something wrong with the timing there. McKeon a clear winner on the video, but given same time as Zhang,’ Nicole Jeffrey, head of communications for World Athletics, also tweeted.


There is an explanation: McKeon didn’t press the wall hard enough to activate the touch-sensitive technology to register her win, the MailOnline reports. McKeon touched the wall softly before applying more pressure, while Zhang pushed hard, resulting in a tie.

FINA, the international federation for administering international competitions in water sports, claimed there was ‘nothing wrong’ with the timing system in place.

The result didn’t seem to bother McKeon. ‘I didn’t really feel like I was going that quick, so I think that gives me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow morning. I knew the Chinese girl next to me would be fast. I saw her go pretty quick at the end of last year. I feel like everyone is on an even playing field once you get to the semis and finals,’ she said.


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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Sport, Australia, China, no-article-matching, Now, Olympics, Swimming, Tokyo


  1. MailOnline

    How top Australian swimming hopeful finished in a dead heat with Chinese rival despite appearing to touch the wall WELL ahead in her Olympic heat