FLASH European Championships: Kathleen Dawson Wins Gold Again In 100 Back Re-Swim

WOMEN - 100M BACKSTROKE Podium Swimming Budapest - Hungary 21/5/2021 Duna Arena XXXV LEN European Aquatic Championships Photo Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Kathleen Dawson: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Kathleen Dawson won a re-swim of the 100 back in 58.49 after the race had to be swum for a second time following an official protest by Sweden over the starter signal in lane eight at the European Championships.

The British woman had set a championship record of 58.18 in the first race – just 0.06 off Gemma Spofforth’s 2009 European record – ahead of Kira Toussaint and Maria Kameneva.

However, governing body LEN accepted there was a “partial malfunction of the starting system” in lane eight at the Duna Arena in which Sweden’s Louise Hansson finished eighth.

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Come the re-swim and Dawson went out in 28.47 and came home in 30.02 – the fastest in the field – ahead of Italy’s Margherita Panziera (59.01) and Kameneva (59.22).

Toussaint was fourth, 0.10secs off the podium in 59.32 as a silver medal to add to her 50 back gold cruelly evaporated.

The Netherlands swimmer had said after the first race:

“Of course I’m very happy with winning silver and with my time but the start was very weird.

“I don’t know if the starting system was stuck or something and I wasn’t even sure if we were supposed to go.”

Hansson was sixth in 1:00.04.

KAthleen Dawson 1

Kathleen Dawson: Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Dawson described the moments between winning the initial race and learning she had to swim once more with coach Steve Tigg reminding her of Thursday evening when she set her first championship record of 58.44 in the semis before leading off the winning British mixed medley relay little more than an hour later.

She said:

“I was ecstatic when I first swam my 58.1 and then I was part way through my swim-down and I got told we’d have to re-swim it and I was disappointed in the moment.

“I just dropped my hands and went down to my knees and I was like ‘oh no’ but Steve (coach Steve Tigg) straightaway was like ‘come on, you did this last night, you can do it again’.

“And sure enough, I was able to go in and go through the process that I did last night and produce the swim that I did.

“It’s been so consistent this whole competition that I’m so impressed with myself.”

The University of Stirling swimmer was unshakeable in her self-belief ahead of the re-swim, saying:

“Of course: 100% I knew I was going to be on top. I’d done it before, I did it twice yesterday and I’d done it this evening.

“For me it was more that I was able to swim that time and the championship record got taken away from me but I knew as soon as I had that next chance to be able to get that gold again, I knew that I was going to be number one, I was still going to be on top of the podium.”

So too did she acknowledge Hansson while pointing out that such things shouldn’t be an issue at a top-level international meet.

As it did at Glasgow 2018 when faulty timing equipment meant finishing times in a number of races were amended, including the revision of Adam Peaty‘s world record from 57.00 to 57.10.

Kathleen Dawson reswim 2021 European Championships

Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto

Dawson said:

“For me as well it was a shame that Louise had to go through that in the final in the first place – something like that shouldn’t really be happening at Europeans.

“I’m really proud of myself. I feel like I’ve proved that I deserve the win.

“I’m glad for Louise as well that she was able to swim the race and get the race she wanted out of it.

“It just shows that I’ve deserved it. For me, to come from third place five years ago (at London 2016) and to not even make the final of the 100 in Glasgow – I couldn’t be more proud of myself.”

Panziera had mixed emotions, offering support to Toussaint, saying:

“I’m very satisfied with the time as I didn’t swim this event for years and this is my first medal in the 100m.

“I’m sort of feeling I haven’t deserved this. In the first race I made a mistake, it just happens. And then I got this new chance and I’m really happy.

“But I feel like Kira (Toussaint) should have won this medal but sometimes the luck changes and I took my chance.”

Kameneva added:

“I have to say that it was not so tough for this second time but I have to recognise that the time was a bit worse.

“At the same time I’m happy to confirm my third place in this event as I was extremely surprised when they told me that I had to swim again.

“I cannot describe my emotions because of this situation.”

Women’s 100 Back first race:

Race 2:

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