(Media Release) It’s been dubbed more like a wrestling match than a swimming content as controversy marred the Olympic 10km marathon final with one competitor being stripped of her medal.
French swimmer Aurelie Muller has been disqualified for pushing her Italian rival Rachele Bruni under the water at the finish line, grappling with her after the gruelling race.
Muller and Bruni were locked in a battle for second and it all came down to a few metres after nearly TWO hours of swimming.
And Muller didn’t want to be undone with competitors required to reach up and touch a board to stop the clock on the line.
As both thrashed away in the closing meters, Muller decided to reach out and push Bruni under water in order to prevent her from touching the board and was therefore disqualified from the Rio 2016 event.
Bruni could not hide her delight at the decision from the Olympic judges afterwards when speaking to the Italian media.
“The French swimmer has sunk me,” claimed Bruni. “At the finish she obstructed me and I could not touch the board. I am glad of the decision of the judges.”
The Netherlands’ Sharon Van Rouwendaal took the gold in a time of 1:56:32.1 with Muller initially +16.6 behind and Bruni a further 0.8 back.
Now French swimming fans are calling it a ‘fix’, as a Brazilian has been bumped up to third place and given the bronze.
Keri-Anne Payne misses out on medal in swimming marathon as Sharon van Rouwendaal claims gold
But after (Free-Pr-Online.com) Muller’s sanction, Bruni was pushed up into the silver medal and Brazil’s Poliana Okimoto claimed a bronze for the host nation.
Great Britain’s Keri-Anne Payne failed to medal after finishing seventh in a time of 1:57:23.9.