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Kentucky swimmer who tied Lia Thomas supports calls for separate ‘Trans Division’

A Kentucky swimmer who competed towards controversial transgender athlete Lia Thomas is hailing the World Swimming Coaches Association for demanding a separate “Trans Division” in competitions.

University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines — who tied Thomas for fifth place within the 200-yard freestyle NCAA championships — told Fox News that it was “great” that teams just like the WSCA had been looking for change.

Trans swimmers like Thomas have an unfair benefit within the pool as a result of it “requires things like your power and your stamina and your strength and endurance, all these things that women are just typically disadvantaged at over men,” Gaines informed “America’s Newsroom.”

“To pretend otherwise defies logic, reason, science and common sense, quite frankly,” she informed the outlet, saying that it was “just night and day difference between male and female” within the pool.

“I think it’s great that we have these small governing bodies willing to come out and make these statements,” she mentioned of the coaches’ group.

University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines on Fox News.
Lia Thomas holds a trophy next to another swimmer
Penn Quakers swimmer Lia Thomas holds a trophy after ending fifth within the 200 free on the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.
Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

However, she burdened that “the decision ultimately lies in these bigger organizations” just like the NCAA, FINA and the International Olympic Committee.

“How many small governing bodies is it going to take before these bigger organizations listen?” she requested.

The WSCA launched its “Position Statement on Transgender Swimming” final week, saying the choice for a devoted “Trans Division” had “received overwhelming support” from its members.

The affiliation burdened that it had an “unequivocal agenda” to make sure “everyone is treated with both dignity and respect.”

“However, the inclusion of transgender people into female sport cannot be balanced with fairness due to the retained differences in strength, stamina and physique that are present when comparing the average female with the average transgender female/non-binary person who was assigned male at birth,” the group’s assertion argued.

The group insisted that the separation wouldn’t be a drastic overhaul given what number of divisions there already are.

Lia Thomas gives a media interview after the preliminary heats of the 500 Yard Freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championship.
Lia Thomas provides a media interview after the preliminary heats of the five hundred Yard Freestyle through the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship.
Mike Comer/NCAA Photos through Getty Images

“On the typical club team, age-group athletes, elite athletes, Special Olympians, and Paralympic athletes all share the same practice pool,” the group mentioned.

“They prepare collectively daily for weeks, then go their separate methods for their competitions.

“It could be precisely the same for our Trans Athletes. 99% of the year, every athlete trains together. 1% of the year, they attend their appropriate competitions,” the WSCA burdened.

“A coach’s historic position has been to develop the game and create one of the best aggressive alternatives for our athletes. The ‘Trans situation’ affords us the identical alternative.

“We must protect female sports, but we must endeavor to create fair competition for everyone,” it mentioned.

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