Athletics

Spaniard Thinks He's World Champion, Finds Out He's Been Disqualified During TV Interview

Spaniard Thinks He's World Champion, Finds Out He's Been Disqualified During TV Interview

Pavel Maslak winning his third consecutive world indoor 400m title was not the main talking point of the two-lap race in Birmingham on Saturday night. Rather, it was about who was not crowned world champion.

Spaniard Oscar Husillos had crossed the finish line in the gold medal position with Dominican Luguelin Santos in second. Not long following the conclusion of the race, both Husillos and Santos were disqualified due to lane violations with Maslak, who had finished in third, promoted to first.

Husillos and Santos had both trodden on the inside line of their lane. Disqualifications for this infringement have been a feature of the World Championships. The two in the men's 400m final took it to 18 in total.

The 24-year-old Husillos had been a picture of elation after he crossed the line. That changed not long after when he was told during a TV interview with Spanish broadcaster TVE that he had been disqualified.

Husillos appealed the decision but it was to no avail.

Athletes have complained throughout the championships about the steepness of the bank on the bends, especially on the outside lanes. Husillos and Santos were in lanes six and five, respectively.

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On Twitter, IAAF president Seb Coe said allowing athletes more time to become familiar with indoor tracks before major championships could be a possible solution.

Indoor tracks vary widely and far more than outdoor tracks, particularly on the turns which impacts the centripetal force as athletes move from the banked turns to the flat straight.

The DQs have been ratified using video footage but perhaps greater familiarisation of different tracks ahead of competitions could be a way forward. We will talk to the athletes and seek their views.

On BBC, Michael Johnson called for rules to be changed.

Here's the race.

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PJ Browne
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