- (Photo: Reuters/File)
The U.S. swim team has been disqualified for a 0.01 second mistake in their 4x100m medley relay final at the World Swimming Championships.
The disqualification visibly shocked teammates Nathan Adrian, Matt Grevers, Ryan Lochte and Kevin Cordes who were seen looking up at the scoreboard in disbelief.
"That's like a punch in the gut right there," said U.S. men's head coach Bob Bowman following the decision.
The incident was a huge anti-climax for the four American swimmers, who had finished the race celebrating by embracing one another, sure that they had gotten the job done and had claimed their gold medals in the men's 4x100 medley relay.
The crowd of 10,000 also were visibly stunned with many putting their hands over their mouths in shock.
Earlier Adrian had finished the anchor leg nearly 1.5 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
However, Cordes, 19, dived in for his breaststroke leg 0.04 seconds before Matt Grevers touched the wall.
The official rules allow 0.03 seconds as a grace period if the next swimmer dives in marginally before a wall touch, however, here the dive was 0.01 over that limit.
Grevers said afterwards, "It's as much my fault or more than Kevin's. The guy coming in is usually the one responsible. I kind of slipped off my start and got a little more tired than I wanted to at the end.
"I probably had a slower rate than I was anticipating — obviously than he was anticipating. I got to learn to finish better and he's probably got to learn to time a little better. I have a feeling Kevin's going to be a little safe for the next couple years."
The disqualification saw France move up from silver medal into the gold position, where as Australia went into silver, and Japan moved up into the medals.
Afterward, Cordes walked past without speaking to reporters, while his supportive teammates gave their take on the incident.
Adrian portrayed perfectly the togetherness of the USA relay team by refusing to point fingers at any individual. He said, "A relay disqualification is not a particular individual's fault. It's Team USA's fault and it falls on all of our shoulders.
He added, "If us four ever step up again we're never going to have a disqualification, that's for sure. It will really motivate him. I don't doubt if in the next couple years we're going to have the fastest breaststroker in the world swimming for Team USA. This could be a catalyst for that."
Ryan Lochte also said, "You take 0.04 off our time and we're still a second in front of everyone. We have all the speed and everything is right there. We just got a little carried away, and I guess things happen. But more fuel for the fire. We're going to come back next year stronger and better."
Here is a video of the race finish and the disqualification: