The 200m event was an amazing event, with some curious challenges. Well, I will let Stuart Weir tell you more….
A world record – almost
Officials are the lifeblood of our sport, the unsung heroes who make it all happen. 99.9% of the time it all runs like clockwork but there have been a few times when it hasn’t. At the Manchester City Games Jess Ennis set a “world record” for the women’s 100m, 9 hurdles race. Yes, they forgot to count the hurdles! At Crystal Palace (London), one year in a sprint hurdles race two of the hurdles were placed in the wrong location causing chaos. Then there was the case of the the barriers in the Oslo women’s 3000m steeplechase which were set at the wrong height (men’s height), requiring Emma Coburn’s husband to draw to the attention of officials as the race was in progress. At the World Indoors in Birmingham, there was a race when every athlete was disqualified! And I swear that the starter at the European Indoors in Belgrade was on a bonus for the number of false starts he called – I am reliably informed that an empty lane false started!
Noah Lyles won the men’s 200m in 18.90 obliterating Usain Bolt’s world record of 19.19. Steve Cram said on BBC commentary: “That cannot be right! 18.90 seconds – that cannot be right, can it? That is very fast. The other runners were miles behind so he has run very fast. We know it’s windy but he started at blistering pace and never stopped. He just kept his foot to the floor all of the way. That was a phenomenal performance no matter how strong the wind reading was. Even he has got his hands in the air wondering what is going on! What a run from Lyles!”
Slowly it emerged that Lyles, having started from the wrong line had only run 185m.
Lyles’ official flash quote, which was presumably recorded before the error was spotted, was “I feel like, technically, it was pretty good. I’m getting up at full blast of the wind, and I felt that this set up turn out really nice. I’ve been working on it a lot and using my arm swing to get that momentum to generate around the turn. To be honest, I felt that this set up really nicely. My starts are coming off really well, and I had the chance to test that running against Justin [Gatlin] last week. I held my own and felt confident with how much I have been improving”.
On Twitter his reaction was: “You can’t be playing with my emotions like this…. got me in the wrong lane smh”
The winner was Christophe Lemaitre in 20.65 from Churandy Martina (20.81). Giving Lyles third place seemed harsh if it was not his fault.
As John Mulkeen tweeted, “I mean, it’s probably still a world 185m record”.