Usain Bolt’s dream of retaining his world championship was shattered on the second day of the Athletics World championships when a false start had him disqualified in the final of the 100m event.
A packed stadium was stunned into silence when moments after the starter’s pistol went off, Usain Bolt striding down the stretch stopped and tore off his vest, threw it to the ground and scowled at the sky.
Watch the video of Bolt’s false start and judge for yourself:
As it transpired, the 100m final of the World Championships was bereft of the eight fastest men in the world this year, suspension for doping keeping out two, injury keeping out two others, and failure to qualify, three others. Bolt was the eighth.
Bolt’s compatriot Blake won gold in the absence of the world record holder and Bolt was gracious in his congratulation of Blake. But the fiasco had led to rumours that Blake himself was partly responsible for Bolt’s disqualification.
Watch the slow motion replay, and you can see Blake’s left leg twitching, a split second before Bolt was off the blocks. There have even been suggestions from commentators that Blake also deserved to be disqualified. According to IAAF’s new rule, the runners must not move once they are in the “set” position. The twitching of Blake’s leg was a violation of the rule. earlier, Dwain Chamber had been disqualified in the semi-finals, for the same reason.
The rules also maintain that the start of the race must be aborted in the event of any athlete distracting any other, on the starting line. This lends credence to the notion that Bolt’s false start was triggered by Blake’s twitch.
In his statement to the press on Monday, Bolt said, "Firstly I would like to congratulate my team mate Yohan Blake and the other athletes who won the medals. Of course I am extremely disappointed not to have had the chance to defend my title due to the false start. I was feeling great through the rounds and was ready to run fast in the final. I worked very hard to get ready for this championships and things were looking good."
Bolt has no intention of giving up in his bid for the 200m gold. He added, "However I have to move on now as there is no point dwelling in the past. I have a few days to refocus and get ready for the 200m. After this I have the 4x100m and a few other races before the end of the season. I know that I am in good shape and will focus on running well in the 200m."
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.