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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | SOUTHLAND FOCUS / A Look at
the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer
Games

Tie Goes To The Brit

July 21, 1996|MIKE DOWNEY

"You can't print what I thought when I saw it."

That was what swimmer Paul Palmer of Great Britain said after an odd thing happened to him in the preliminaries of the 200 meter freestyle.

With eight men advancing to the finals, Palmer found that he and Finland's Jani Sievinen had tied for the eighth-best time: 1:49.05. Their dead heat necessitated a swim-off between the two of them.

In the swim-off, they tied again: 1:48.85.

Which meant another race.

That's when Palmer thought something unprintable. Luckily for him, Sievinen said forget it. He let Palmer advance to the finals.

"I have never, ever had one swim-off, much less two," Palmer said before the Finn conceded. "If I have to, I'll swim again."

Not Sievinen, who said: "I just looked at the [scoreboard] and said, 'Oh, no.' "

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