Justin Ress Describes Emotions After DQ Overturn as “20 More Minutes of Shock”



  • World Record: 23.71, Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 2022 US Trials
  • Championship Record: 24.04, Liam Tancock (GBR) – 2009 World Championships
  • 2019 World Champion: Zane Waddell (RSA), 24.43
  1. Justin Ress (USA) – 24.12
  2. Hunter Armstrong (USA) – 24.14
  3. Ksawery Masiuk (POL) – 24.49
  4. Thomas Ceccon (ITA) – 24.51
  5. Apostolos Christou (GRE) / Robert Glinta (ROU) – 24.57
  6. Ole Braunschweig (GER) – 24.66
  7. Isaac Alan Cooper (AUS) – 24.76

The final day of the FINA 2022 World Championships was not without drama. Justin Ress of the United States touched first at the wall in a 24.12 in the men’s 50 backstroke final before finding out he was disqualified for being fully submerged on his finish. The medal ceremony occurred with the second, third, and fourth place finishers while the review for the disqualification was still occurring. After the medal ceremony, it was ultimately decided that Ress’s disqualification would be overturned.

Ress spoke of his many emotions saying “It was shocking the whole time. Twenty minutes I was just in the chair in the team room, paralyzed, shocked I got DQed. Obviously overturns rarely happened so I basically lost all hope. When they told me it got overturned, it was 20 more minutes of shock that it had been overturned! On top of that, there was all this sadness, anger – you just never think – that’s the worst possible way a race could go. I could have went out there and gotten eighth and I would have been bummed to not get a medal or performed as good as I could have. I’ve learned it’s not about the results – it’s about the journey. When it goes down like that – thinking you’ve won for a couple minutes, then see the DQ, it’s kind of insane.”

This was Ress’ first individual gold medal at a World Championship. Ress also finished 0.02 seconds ahead of fellow American Hunter Armstrong making it the first time that two Americans were on the podium in the event.

The 50 backstroke was Ress’ only individual event of the meet. Ress also swam on the United States men’s 4×100 freestyle relay splitting a 47.48 in finals. That relay finished in a 3:09.34 for gold.

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