International Outcry: Guinness Reverses Decision on Lia Thomas’ World Records

Published 08/05/2023, 12:32 PM EDT

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Women’s swimming has become extremely popular because of a controversy involving the Guinness World Records and Lia Thomas. Their announcement last week on the record of Thomas sent the whole of America into a frenzy!

The reputed British organization landed itself in controversy when Lia Thomas, a transgender woman, was listed for several records in women’s swimming. But their latest decision has created more noise in sports! While some agree with it, there are people who aren’t on the same page.

Guinness goes back on their Lia Thomas call


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‘The most controversial athlete in America’ is how Sports Illustrated described Lia Thomas in 2022 and she now finds herself amidst another one. Thomas holds the record for women’s 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:33:24, beating Olympic Silver medalist Emma Weyant, who finished 1.75 behind.

Last month, Guinness World Records declared that all records of Lia Thomas mentioned would have an asterisk. She had eleven world records in the books, but after severe backlash and criticism from sporting federations worldwide, they quickly reversed the decision. The organization released a statement from the Editor-in-Chief, Joe Barron. As per the ‘Dunning-Kruger-Times’, the statement said,


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“Rather than add an asterisk, Guinness will vacate the record and give it, by default, to the next in line.” “We regret that there had to be any discussion on the matter and look forward to putting it behind us.”

via Getty

They enlisted all the records in the 2023 edition but assured people that it would be the sole edition with those records.

Women’s swimming is slowly becoming mainstream

The next edition of the book will not feature any mentions of Lia Thomas, and the records will stand with the correct holders. It will also feature an explanation for the discrepancy in the previous version. Barron said to the media, “This whole thing sounds more official than your traditional story.”


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“By now, there should be something that gives it away other than all those fictitious records.”

Out of the eleven records Lia had, Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant will receive six of them and Riley Gaines will take the remaining five left, but the controversies do not seem to cease. Gaines stated to the media that she will petition for a tie with Emma and accused her of stealing her moment. “I won’t stand for it,” she said.


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As per several reports, Lia Thomas can no longer compete in women’s competitions. The new rules stated that transgender women must now establish that they “have not experienced any part of male puberty.” Sporting bodies worldwide have presented a united front on the issue, and stakeholders have had to take notice. Women’s swimming is rising up the horizon but with a foot on a rocky road.

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Written by:

Allen James


One take at a time

Allen David James is a writer covering viral sports moments at EssentiallySports. A Mass Communication graduate, specialized in Journalism, his love and passion for the game of cricket has led him to different junctures in life and brought out immense emotion and drive for a mildly calm individual. Apart from cricket, singing and playing badminton are two activities that help him break away from the pressures of work and deadlines! Here he is now, a content writer, creator and broadcaster, trying to make his way in this wonderful world of sports, where tough never rest!
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Edited by:

Priyadarshini Ajay