The World Swimming Federation (WA) announced on the 16th that it will introduce the ‘open category (open sector)’ at the 1st competition of the 2023 World Cup series to be held in Berlin, Germany from October 6th to 8th. It means giving transgender athletes who could not compete in women’s events at international competitions a chance to compete on the elite stage.
The World Swimming Federation held an extraordinary general meeting during the World Championships in Budapest (Hungary) last year and said, “In the case of transgender athletes who transitioned from male to female, they must prove that they have not gone through male puberty (before the age of 12) to compete in the women’s event.” decided. It meant that a person would be recognized as a ‘woman’ only if she had undergone a sex change without undergoing secondary sex characteristics that reveal male physical characteristics.
The World Federation made a specific plan for the establishment of an open division during the World Championships in Fukuoka (Japan) last month. In this debut event in Berlin, the 50m and 100m events will be held across all strokes. There is a possibility that additional events involving longer distance swimming may be introduced in the future. In order for transgender athletes to participate in the World Cup, they must first register with their country’s swimming federation.
“We decided to find a way to create an open category when we formulated the policy on the qualifications of male and female athletes, and a team of experts has been working to make this promise a reality,” said Husain Al Musallam, president of the World Swimming Federation. The German Swimming Federation, which hosts the World Cup in October, welcomed the World Federation’s decision to allow transgender athletes to participate, saying, “Berlin, as the center of diversity and inclusion in Germany, is the perfect place for this progressive project.”
The issue of ‘transgender female players’ has been controversial for a while. Leah Thomas (24, 185cm) of the United States, who participated in the women’s college game without undergoing male-to-female conversion surgery, is one of them. The core of the discussion is that if a person who has already completed physical development as a man is recognized as a woman just because he lowers his male hormone level, it is not fair to the ‘biological female athlete’.
Paula Scanlon, who played for Thomas and the University of Pennsylvania women’s team, testified last month that she was a “survivor of sexual assault” before the House Judiciary Committee. “We had to undress her in front of Thomas, who had intact male genitals, 18 times a week,” Scanlon, who serves as a spokesperson for the Independent Women’s Forum, said. Some girls had to change in the bathroom,” she testified.메이저사이트
She took issue with the school’s response. “University officials ignored our protests and let Thomas join her team,” she said. When she expressed concern about sharing a locker room, the school provided psychological services to educate her so that she would feel comfortable undressing in front of Thomas.” Scanrun also said, “When Thomas was a man, she was a top 500 player in the country, but she became a champion in the women’s division. She lost a place on the podium for women,” she claimed.
Thomas started playing under the name ‘William’ for the University of Pennsylvania men’s team in 2017. However, since May 2019, he has been using hormone replacement therapy and ‘coming out’ as a trans woman (born as a man but identified himself as a woman). He also changed his name to Lia. From the 2021-2022 season, he competed in the women’s division and rose to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) top player. In March of last year, he became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division 1 championship regardless of event by placing first in the 500-yard (457 m) freestyle at the NCAA National Championships.