Journal De Bruxelles - Transgender swimmer Thomas qualifies for US college final

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Transgender swimmer Thomas qualifies for US college final
Transgender swimmer Thomas qualifies for US college final

Transgender swimmer Thomas qualifies for US college final

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas was the fastest qualifier for Thursday's 500-yard freestyle final at the US collegiate women's swimming and diving championships in Atlanta.

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Thomas, who competes for the University of Pennsylvania, topped Thursday morning preliminaries with a time of 4mins, 33.82secs with Erica Sullivan of Texas second in 4:36.79 and Virginia's Emma Weyant third in 4:37.25.

Thomas would be the first known transgender athlete to capture a Division I title if she wins a final at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) meet at McAuley Aquatic Center.

Thomas has the top seeding time in the 200 freestyle at 1:41.93 and is seeded 10th in the 100 free at 47.63.

Thomas, who had previously competed as a male swimmer at Penn, has divided opinion, some arguing she has an unfair physiological advantage while others say she should be allowed to compete freely as a woman.

E.Janssens--JdB