A transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania continued to outperform the competition over the weekend, breaking two U.S. records.
Lia Thomas, a 22-year-old biological man who identifies as a woman, commanded the pool Sunday at the Zippy Invitational event in Akron, Ohio, winning the 1,650-yard freestyle race 38 seconds faster than teammate Anna Kalandadze, according to a report.
Thomas won with a time of 15:59:71, handily defeating Kalandadze's second-place finish of 16:37:44.
TRANSGENDER SWIMMER DOMINATES SINCE JOINING PENN'S WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAM
This winning time automatically qualified Thomas for March's NCAA National Championship meet in Atlanta.
The performance in the 1,650-yard freestyle set a record for the Zippy Invitational, but Thomas's success didn't stop there.
The women finished second at the Zippy Invitational this weekend!— Penn Swimming & Diving (@PennSwimDive) December 6, 2021
📰 https://t.co/YBNCar7e4i#FightOnPenn pic.twitter.com/k7kmnk3iK9
Earlier in the event, the student-athlete, who swam for Penn's men's swimming team for three years in NCAA Division I competition, beat two U.S. women's swimming records.
Thomas set the first new U.S. record Friday after winning the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:34:06.
The winning time also set a new Akron pool record, Penn school record, and Ivy League record.
Thomas then achieved the fastest women's U.S. time for the 200-yard freestyle, finishing the race seven seconds faster than the closest competitor and winning with a time of 1:41:93.
The women are in second place after day one of the Zippy Invitational.— Penn Swimming & Diving (@PennSwimDive) December 4, 2021
Lia Thomas set a pool and meet record in the 500 free!
📰 https://t.co/8ECO8Dts6b#FightOnPenn pic.twitter.com/4V4wjhnkOf
This time also stands as the new pool, meet, and program record.
Since transitioning, which resulted in Thomas taking a year off from competition, the 22-year-old has been criticized.
Many critics argue Thomas has an unfair advantage due to her biological sex.
Thomas said the transition has not stood in the way of competing in the sport.
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"The process of coming out as being trans and continuing to swim was a lot of uncertainty and unknown around an area that's usually really solid," Thomas said. "Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport, and being able to continue is very rewarding."