Justin Ress DQ Overturned After Medals Ceremony for Rollercoaster 50 Back Gold



  • World Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 2022 U.S. Trials
  • Championship Record: 24.04, Liam Tancock (GBR) – 2009 World Championships
  • 2019 World Champion: Zane Waddell (RSA), 24.43
  1. Justin Ress (USA) – 24.12
  2. Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 24.14
  3. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 24.49
  4. Thomas Ceccon (ITA) – 24.51
  5. Apostolos Christou (GRE) / Robert Glinta (ROU) – 24.57
  6. Ole Braunschweig (GER) – 24.66
  7. Isaac Alan Cooper (AUS) – 24.76

Some back-and-forth officiating in the men’s 50 back final added an extra layer of drama on the final day of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

Justin Ress won his first individual Worlds gold with a 24.12 — the 14th-fastest swim in history — before a video review disqualified the 24-year-old American for being fully submerged on the finish. But less than an hour later, after runner-up Hunter Armstrong topped the podium at the medals ceremony, the DQ was overturned. 

Ress touched in 24.12, just .02 seconds ahead of Armstrong, the world record holder in the event. While he was the presumed winner, Armstrong seemed visibly upset about the way his teammate was robbed. 

“I was really proud of Justin,” Armstrong said. “That was a great race. We only had .02 seconds separating us. 

“I would have rather taken 2nd and had him with me than having me get the title with the DQ,” Armstrong added. “That’s not how I wanted it. I was just incredibly proud of him. He’s just an amazing athlete, a great talent, and completely raw. He’s capable of so much. To have that taken away from him, it sucks.”

The American duo had paced the field leading up to the finals, with Armstrong also .02 behind Ress’s top-seeded time of 24.14 in the semifinals. It’s the second gold medal of the week for Ress, who helped the Americans triumph in the 4×100 free relay last Saturday. He received his hardware later during a special ceremony without the other medalists present on the podium. 

Polish teen Ksawery Masiuk will return to his bronze medal position after being awarded silver during the ceremony. His 24.49 was just .01 off his national record from earlier this week. Thomas Ceccon was belatedly bumped off the podium with a 24.51, a few days after breaking the world record in the 100 back. Ceccon was also just off his Italian record of 24.46 set in prelims. 


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