Transgender swimmer wins Ivy League women's championship race
Thomas also set a new time record for Harvard University's Blodgett Pool
Transgender US swimmer Lia Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle race at the 2022 Ivy League women's championships Thursday, defying critics who called for her to be barred from competing.
Thomas dominated US collegiate women's swimming recently as a student athlete at Penn State, where just a few years ago she competed as a man.
Her case was met with divided opinion, with some arguing she has an unfair physiological advantage while others say she should be allowed to compete freely as a woman.
This month the governing body of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming, unveiled new guidelines which include a more stringent threshold for athletes' testosterone levels - widely seen as making it harder for Thomas to be able to participate in major meets.
But she got the go-ahead to compete in the prestigious Ivy League championships, and came in first place with a time of 4 minutes and 37.32 seconds on Thursday - a record for Harvard University's Blodgett Pool.
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She was among three swimmers from Penn State to make the finals.
Thomas beamed and flashed a peace sign as she received the medal.
Also competing Thursday was fellow transgender swimmer Iszac Henig, who won first place in the women's 50-yard freestyle race.