Lia Thomas: Caitlyn Jenner claims transgender swimmer was not rightful winner of women’s race at US college championships | Ents & Arts News
Former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner has claimed a transgender swimmer was not the rightful winner of a women’s race at a US college championships.
Lia Thomas was first in the 500-yard freestyle final, beating her nearest competitor, Olympic silver medallist and University of Virginia swimmer Emma Weyant, by more than a second and a half.
In doing so, Thomas became the first transgender woman to win a NCAA swimming championship title.
Thomas, from the University of Pennsylvania, has followed NCAA and Ivy League rules since she began her transition in 2019 by starting hormone replacement therapy.
Thomas, 22, had a season-best time in Atlanta of four minutes and 33.24 seconds, while Weyant was runner-up with 4:34.99.
In response to the NCAA race result, Jenner tweeted: “Emma is the rightful winner! It’s not transphobic or anti trans, it’s COMMON SENSE!”
Upon receiving her second place medal, Weyant was met by wild applause.
Thomas, meanwhile, accepted her first place medal to near silence.
Despite the result, Weyant will be recognised as the winner in her home state of Florida, according to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
He said: “A male identifying as a woman was allowed to compete in and was declared the winner of the race by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Emma was determined to come in second place.”
The governor added that the NCAA’s “actions served to erode the opportunities for women athletes and perpetuate a fraud against women athletes as well as the public at large”.
It is not the first time Jenner has raised similar concerns.
The former Olympic gold medallist turned reality TV star, who came out as a trans woman in 2015, has previously said she does not agree with trans athletes competing against biological females, due to an inherent advantage.
In 2021, she told the TMZ website: “This is a question of fairness. That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school.
“It just isn’t fair, and we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
Jenner won gold in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.