'Never seen that': Swimming world stunned by ridiculous anomaly

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Zac Stubblety-Cook, pictured here in another dead-heat at the Olympics.
Zac Stubblety-Cook was involved in another dead-heat at the Olympics. Image: Channel 7/Getty

Leisel Jones and Ian Thorpe were left gobsmacked in commentary on Tuesday night when an astonishing fifth dead-heat was recorded in the pool at the Olympics.

Aussie swimmer Zac Stubblety-Cook showcased his medal prospects in the men's 200m breaststroke with a standout swim in the heats.

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Stubblety-Cook clocked 2:07.37 to dead-heat with Arno Kamminga from the Netherlands.

The Aussie, who entered Tokyo with the world-leading time this year in the event, and Kamminga topped the heats with their equal-fastest time, with Australia's Matt Wilson 10th quickest and into the semi-finals.

However the dead-heat raised more questions about the technology being used in the Tokyo pool.

An incredible five dead-heats have been recorded in the opening four days, with the issue sparking controversy when Emma McKeon appeared to be dudded on Saturday.

McKeon appeared to touch the wall well before her Chinese rival in the butterfly heats, however the race was declared a dead-heat.

There were also ties in the men’s 400m freestyle heats between Australian swimmers Elijah Winnington and Jack McLoughlin, and in the men’s 100m backstroke heats between Evgeny Rylov and Ryan Murphy.

“I’ve never seen so many dead heats in an Olympic Games,” Jones said in commentary for Channel 7.

Emma McKeon, pictured here appearing to touch the wall well before her nearest rival.
Emma McKeon appeared to touch the wall well before her nearest rival. Image: Channel 7

Ian Thorpe explains dead-heat anomaly

Thorpe explained that it doesn't matter who touches the wall first if you don't touch hard enough.

“What people have to realise with the touchpad itself, that is not actually the end of the race. You have to touch the touchpad in to actually touch the wall,” he said.

“So that’s where the finish is. There’s a photo of Michael Phelps where he’s at the Olympics and it looks like he’s behind, and we’ve seen what happened with Emma McKeon, when it looked like she was home.

“And I thought she was home, I thought she’d won that by 0.2 of a second.

“I don’t think the equipment is messed up. There may have been a fault, but they’re saying there is no fault in the equipment, they’ve tested them. They test those things every session.

“So there’s someone that’s actually measuring the lanes making sure they’re working effectively and as they should be.”

However Thorpe said the Australian team would have disputed McKeon's finish if the dead-heat had have occurred in a final.

Meanwhile, Kyle Chalmers fired the first shot in defence of his Olympic 100m freestyle crown.

The Australian breezed to victory in Tuesday night's heats as American challenger Caeleb Dressel and Italian flier Thomas Ceccon also impressed.

Ceccon was quickest through the heats in 47.71 seconds, followed by Dressel (47.73) and Chalmers (47.77).

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with AAP

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