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article imageBolt's disqualification at World Championship prompts rule review

By Kim I. Hartman     Aug 29, 2011 in Sports
Daegu - The disqualification of Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt, 25, at the World Championship has prompted a review of the false start rule that calls for the immediate disqualification of a runner if they start before the gun.
Fans that came to see the fastest man in history defend his 9.58 second record set in Berlin in 2009 were disappointed when the Jamaican athletic jumped the gun in the 100m and fell victim to the false start rule.
Usain Bolt's false start earned him an immediate disqualification, dashing his hopes of repeating as a triple gold medalist at the World Championship being held in Daegu, South Korea. Bolt's DQ opened the door for another Jamaican, Yohan Blake, 21, to become the youngest winner of gold in the World 100m.
The new rule allows for no second chances for false starts in Athletics and was supported by Bolt in 2009, months before it was enacted the following January.
Bolt told Jamaica's Gleaner at the time: "For me, I have no problem, I never false-started yet. It will be better for the sport. It will be a problem for some people but not for me."
Bolt's words came back to haunt him on the track in Daegu Sunday night and the reaction from other athletes to his disqualification have been mixed.
"Former Olympic champion Darren Campbell, 37, said: "I'm as disappointed as anyone else because I'm an athletics fan first and foremost and you want to see the best athletes run, but you have to put it into perspective. In this situation everyone is upset because the leading man in the movie unfortunately fluffed his lines, but that's why we love the sport. How boring would it be if every time we turned up we knew what the result would be?"
Saint Kitts and Nevis sprinter Kim Collins, who finished third in the race behind US sprinter Walter Dix, said, "I don't think it's right and as much as I want to be on the podium, tonight is a sad night for athletics. I don't think fans are going to be happy. And I wouldn't be if I was defending champion and I lost like that. You want to lose like a man."
The IAFF issued a statement that read: "While the IAAF is, of course, disappointed that Usain Bolt false-started in the final of the 100m, it is important to remember that a sport’s credibility depends on its rules, and they must also be applied consistently and fairly for ALL athletes."
"The current false start rule has been in effect since 1 January 2010, and all elite athletes have had the chance to adjust. In extraordinary cases, the IAAF Council has the right to make interim changes to Technical Rules, pending official approval by IAAF Congress."
Prior to the rule change, athletes participating in events in Athletics were allowed one false start and were disqualified for a subsequent false start.
How the new rule will affect the Olympic Games in London is of concern to some fans of the sport who want to see the world's best athletes compete for gold medals.
London 2012 chairman, Lord Coe, said "it's a rule ... we have to be careful about re-visiting a rule. It would be a mistake to quickly reverse the decision," Bob Hersh told the BBC.
The IAAF is scheduled to meet this weekend in Daegu and will discuss any possible changes to the rule at at that time.
More about Usain bolt, Disqualification, World championship, Olympics, 100 meter
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