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Transgender swimmer destroys competition at Ivy League Championships, winning 500 free by more than 7 seconds

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JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male, wiped out the competition while competing against women in a 500-yard freestyle on Thursday, taking the win at the Ivy League Championships after finishing the race more than seven seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

The decisive victory provides further evidence to critics who contend that biological males should not be allowed to compete in athletic events designated for women.

While racing a leg in an 800-yard freestyle relay on Wednesday, Thomas barely finished in first, edging out a Iszac Henig of Yale, a biological woman who identifies as a transgender man. While Thomas won the leg, Penn ultimately finished the race in third, according to swimmingworldmagazine.com.

Thomas participated in a 200 free relay on Thursday, but the team came in fourth.

While many Americans already oppose allowing men to compete in women's sports, the controversy surrounding Thomas has drawn significant attention.

The swimmer annihilated the competition in December by finishing a 1650 free clocking in about 38 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

According to data collected across 13 Gallup polls conducted in 2021, 7.1% of U.S. adults identify as LGBT — only 10% of U.S. LGBT adults identify as transgender, which amounts to 0.7% of all U.S. adults, according to Gallup.

Correction: This story previously said that Thomas won a 1650 free by more than 38 seconds — the win was actually just under 38 seconds and the story has been corrected to note that Thomas won that race by about 38 seconds.

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