GLASGOW, August 5, 2018 - The European Swimming Federation (LEN) announced that an error in the race timing equipment at the Saturday afternoon session the European Championships in Glasgow has resulted in all race times, including the world record of British swimmer Adam Peaty in the men’s 100m breaststroke final, being 0.1 seconds faster than initially reported. This means that Peaty’s record of 57.00 seconds has been revised as 57.10, now 0.03 seconds instead of 0.13 better than his own previous record in the discipline.
LEN announced that the technical issue was a result of an incorrect configuration of the starting mechanism, and that it had worked with its Swimming Technical Committee to go through all necessary checks and analysis. Vice Chairman of the LEN Swimming Technical Committee Craig Hunter spoke to media following the LEN statement on the issue on Sunday.
“This is what has happened, it is extremely unfortunate, but in the spirit of true transparency, we have held a team leader meeting with more than 40 nations represented this morning, with all of the teams, where everything was clarified. This is a European Championships, there was no question of covering this up, we want all of our times to be accurately processed.”
Hunter confirmed that the last three races of the Saturday evening session – the men’s 50m backstroke, the women’s 50m freestyle and the mixed 4x200m freestyle relay, had the correct time configuration, as by then the FINA Swimming Technical Committee had identified the problem and set it straight.
“The starting mechanism was not correctly configured, that was realized early in the session. But while we knew we had a problem we didn’t know what the root cause of the problem was, and it was identified it was the starting mechanism, but we needed more information.”
Hunter added that the Technical Committee had stayed at the Tollcross Swimming Center until well after midnight identifying the root cause before the morning meeting with the team leaders.
“We had to ensure we went through all the necessary protocols, and that we were being sufficiently robust bearing in mind that one of the times recorded was potentially a world record.”
The saving grace for LEN is that Adam Peaty’s result still remains a world record, but will now be changed by 0.10 seconds, making his final time 57.10.
LEN insisted that they expected no issue in having his record ratified by the governing body of world aquatics, FINA.
“We will be submitting the record application for the World Record to FINA, signed by the refereed and will follow all of the usual protocols. We have absolutely no doubt that it will be ratified. We don’t forsee that there will be any problem in relation to Adam’s recorded time.”
Hunter was also asked to go into detail on how the problem occurred in the first place and how 0.1 second was identified as the issue.
“When the starting mechanism is configured, the default configuration setting, which has a manufacturers standard which has a delay between the starting signal being given and the start of the timing mechanism. The timing mechanism that we used is a multi-sport timing equipment, Omega Swiss Timing, and the setting within that starting system has a default setting of 0.1 seconds,” the Vice Chairman explained.
Hunter also confirmed that this had already occurred at a previous event, not under LEN’s organization, but did not go into detail at which level.
LEN’s full statement on the issue is below.
During the afternoon competition session on Saturday 4 August 2018 the LEN Technical Swimming Committee became aware of a potential problem in relation to the race timing equipment for the first nine races of that session.
Upon thorough investigation it became apparent that the starting mechanism had been incorrectly configured prior to the start of the session which resulted in all reported times being 0.10s faster due to a configuration delay of 0.10s.
The LEN TSC working with the timing system operators carried out extensive tests to confirm this system configuration error and have, with the benefit of the necessary technical analysis, revised all recorded times for the first nine races during that session.
The LEN TSC confirms that all times recorded during the first three competition sessions and after the first nine races of that session (subsequently) are accurate.
LEN Technical Swimming Committee
5 August 2018
Sessions not affected
3 August morning
3 August evening
4 August morning
Races not affected on 4 August, evening
Men’s 50m backstroke
Women’s 50m freestyle
Mixed 4x200m freestyle relay
Women’s 800m freestyle
Men’s 100m breaststroke
Women’s 100m butterfly
Men’s 100m freestyle semi-finals
Women’s 100m breaststroke semi-finals
Men’s 200m butterfly semi-finals