The women's 3,000m steeplechase at a Diamond League meeting in Oslo yesterday descended into a kind of unholy farce, with one of the steeple barriers erroneously set to the men's height for the first three laps.
Barriers are set at 36 inches for men's races as opposed to 30 inches for women but last night, one of the barriers wasn't adjusted ahead of the 3,000-metre race.
The first half of the pack hurdled the barrier without too much trouble, but those caught for space toward the back failed - with Jamaica's Aisha Praught (the 2018 Commonwealth champion) electing to run into the barrier rather than risk a muscle injury while hurdling. Leader and reigning world champion Emma Coburn gestured to officials to point out that the barrier was the wrong height, but it wasn't until the third lap that something was done about it.
Officials frantically tried to lower the barrier, and had half of it adjusted as runners approached on the third lap. Taking emergency corrective action, they shoved the higher half off the track.
Watch the chaos unfold below:
The race was won by Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng, with Coburn venting her frustration after the race:
I’m incredibly frustrated that we had to hurdle the men’s barrier on the back straight three times – we were waving around and it wasn’t solved until my husband went out onto the track to tell the officials. It panicked me but I tried to stay calm and feel as easy as possible from then on.