The Italian Swimming Federation has protested today, after its team was disqualified from the ‘Best Man’s Fall’ event, at the European Swimming Championships in Budapest. The French and German teams filed a complaint that accused the Italian team coach of using a pretend Uzi to shoot his divers, instead of the traditional Thompson Sub Machine gun or Bazooka. Italy was 12 points clear after round three and was on course for gold when the complaint was filed and the judges video review, clearly showed the Italian coache’s mimicry of the Israeli automatic weapon.
The disqualification allowed the British team to take its 3rd gold in 2 days, having clinched the ‘Bomb’ & ‘Swimming Two Lengths in Pyjamas’ titles the previous day. The Uzi is not an authorised pretend weapon under European Swimming Federation rules for the ‘Best Man’s Fall’ event. The ban was introduced after a real Uzi was accidentally used in the 1994 European Championships, by an over zealous Hungarian dive coach. It was European Swimming’s worst death toll in a competitive event when six divers, a lifeguard and a judge were killed.
Earlier today Britain was unlucky to miss out on a 4th gold in the ‘Diving to Get a Coin in the Deep End’ event. Head coach Andrew Handle said this was bad judgement on his part, as the team had been training for 11 months with Pound coins but a one Euro coin was used in the competition. Mr. Handle said he had high hopes for fifteen year old contestant Stacy Patterson in the ‘Holding Your Breath Underwater’ event, which takes place on Friday. The Daily Mail reports that her participation is not guaranteed, as she is the subject to a judges inquiry after an alleged petting incident took place in the synchronised swimming. If found guilty, she could incur a 30 second penalty which would almost certainly put her out of medal contention.