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NCAA swimmer calls for rule change after losing to Lia Thomas

A Virginia Tech swimmer has slammed the NCAA for its rule allowing transgender women to compete against biological women after failing in a championship qualifying race dominated by University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.

Reka Gyorgy raised the criticism in a post on her missing private Instagram account after Thursday’s cut to compete in the 500 freestyle final at the NCAA championships, Fox News reported.

“It doesn’t promote our sport in a good way and I think it’s disrespectful to biologically female swimmers who compete in the NCAA,” Gyorgy said of the rule that came under fire. scrutiny since Thomas broke records in his first season. compete at the college level as a transgender woman.

Gyorgy also blamed Thomas for her failure to qualify. The Virginia Tech swimmer said she believes the last spot to advance to the finals was taken away from her “because of the NCAA’s decision to let someone who is not a biological woman to compete”.

Thomas finished with a time of 4:33.82 in the preliminaries and eventually won the women’s national 500 freestyle title when she won the final race with a time of 4:33.24.

Gyorgy’s letter urged the college athletic organization to change its rule.

Thomas has faced backlash with a number of organizations and athletes questioning the fairness of a swimmer born as a biological male competing against women.
Brett Davis – USA TODAY Sports

“I want to emphasize that I fully respect and support Lia Thomas; I am confident that she is no different than me or any other D1 swimmer who has woken up at 5 a.m. all her life for practice. morning,” Gyorgy wrote.

“On the other hand, I would like to criticize the NCAA rules that allow it to compete with us, who are biologically female.”

Gyorgy has swum for the Hokies for the past five years and represented his home country of Hungary at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy.
Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy felt the last spot to advance to the consolation final was taken away from her because of Thomas.
Virginia Tech

“I know you could say I had the opportunity to swim faster and get into the top 16, but this situation makes it a little different and I can’t help but feel angry or sad. It hurts me, my team and the other ladies in the pool,” Gyorgy wrote.

“A spot was taken away from the girl who placed 9th in the 500m freestyle and was unable to make it back to the A final, preventing her from being an All-American. Every event in which transgender athletes have entered was a place withdrawn from biological women throughout the encounter.

The two-time NACC champion and two-time All-American swimmer said the NCAA “knew what was coming last week,” criticizing the organization’s media frenzy by not addressing the issue.

“It’s the result of the NCAA and their lack of interest in protecting their athletes. I ask the NCAA to take the time to think about all the other biological women in swimming, to try to think about what they would feel if they were us.” Make the right changes for our sport and for a better future in swimming,” Gyorgy concluded.

The NCAA did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment.

Thomas has faced backlash with a number of organizations and athletes questioning the fairness of a swimmer born as a biological male competing against women.

The NCAA established new regulations on transgender athletes earlier this season and essentially left eligibility to individual sports.

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