Athlete Lia Thomas has become the first Transgender swimmer to win the 500-yard freestyle event at the US collegiate championships in Atlanta.
Thomas became the first transgender athlete to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association first place title with a time of 4 minutes 33:24.
The 22-year-old knocked her competition out the park and hit the wall more than a second-and-a-half ahead of Emma Weyant, who finished in 4:34:99.
However, there has been much criticism over the win – but new data has surfaced showing Thomas didn’t have any advantage over cisgender women, proving any criticisms about her victory are unfounded.
Data presented by The Independent indicates her swim times are entirely in-keeping with those held by other female swimmers.
Under the NCAA, Thomas’ times were impressive but not entirely record breaking. In fact, 27 all time NCAA records were broken overall in the competition and out of Thomas’ 3 races, not one of her times were among the new records.
After her victory, the athlete told ESPN reporter Elizabeth Beisel that she tried to ‘ignore’ the critics:
Crowd was completely silent after Lia Thomas spoke with Olympian Elizabeth Beisel after winning the 500 free at the @NCAA Championships. pic.twitter.com/41CM3QlQpk
— Emri Moore (@emrimooretv) March 17, 2022
Congratulations on the win Lia!