Transgender World Cup swimming races get cancelled after no one enters
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A transgender World Cup swimming race was abandoned after no one entered the competition.
Code Sports reported that World Aquatics canceled the Swimming World Cup in Berlin over the weekend due to the lack of involvement.
“World Aquatics can confirm that no entries have been received for the open category events,” the organization said.
“Distances in various events had been made available for the open category, introduced on a pilot basis following the adoption of the World Aquatics policy on eligibility for the men’s and women’s competition categories.
“The World Aquatics Open Category Working Group will continue its work and engagement with the aquatics community on open category events.”
The statement continued: “Even if there is no current demand at the elite level, the working group is planning to look at the possibility of including open category races at Masters events in the future.”
The organization introduced the new event to accommodate transgender athletes after it banned trans female athletes from competing in women’s elite races at the Berlin meet.
The governing body had opened the category, comprising 50 and 100-meter races across all strokes, describing it as a ‘pioneering pilot project’.
Following the cancellation, former British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies - a vocal critic of transgender athletes competing in women’s sports - penned on social media: "If trans women aren't going to get the physical benefit of racing females instead of others males, they're not interested!"
On the contrary, earlier this year, Swim England created ‘open and female categories’, allowing transgender women and non-binary people to compete in female races.
The new rule, implemented last month, applies to swimming, artistic swimming, diving and water polo in all events where times and competition are considered important.
Mike Hawkes, Swim England’s head of diversity and inclusion, said the new policy is a way to create inclusive opportunities for transgender athletes while protecting fairness in sport.
“We do believe, however, that any measures put in place should be minimally obstructive and only go as far as is necessary to maintain sporting integrity across our competition and talent pathways,” he said, as per The Guardian.
He added that this rule would allow for ‘grassroots inclusion up to the highest level possible’.
“It’s not the best of both worlds, but it’s certainly the best we believe is possible,” Hawkes added.