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The NCAA Division I swimming championship is happening today in Atlanta and Lia Thomas has won the 500 meter freestyle race.

Here’s the end of the race. Thomas beat the 2nd place finisher by 1.75 seconds which is a lot closer than the preliminaries where Thomas won by 5 full seconds.

ESPN reports there was some awkward silence before Thomas got in the pool and also after she got on the podium.

The race began with the crowd cheering for each of the swimmers, but fans were noticeably quiet for Thomas’ introduction. Save Women’s Sports founder Beth Stelzer draped a vinyl banner with the organization’s phrase over the railing…

As she stood on the podium with her trophy, she flashed a peace sign, just as she did for her four Ivy League championships. And once again, the crowd was noticeably quiet as she was announced as the champion.

Outside there was a small protest by a group called Save Women’s Sports. A few counter-protesters also showed up with signs.

The leader of SWS spoke to a Virginia Tech swimmer who said her teammate was knocked out of the 500 free by Thomas.

Thomas will compete in the 200 freestyle and the 100 freestyle over the next two days. She is expected to win both races.

Source: This post first appeared on HotAir

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