Bolt disqualified at World Championships

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The Independent Online

Usain Bolt was today disqualified from the final of the 100 metres in the World Championships in Daegu for a false start.

Bolt had looked in brilliant form in the heats and semi-final, feeling all the hard work he had done on his start had finally paid off.

But the Jamaican star got it all wrong in spectacular fashion this evening, springing from his blocks before the gun and pulling his running vest off in frustration, instantly realising he would be disqualified.

While Bolt was still slapping a wall near the start in frustration, compatriot Yohan Blake powered to the title in 9.92 seconds, with American Walter Dix taking silver and veteran Kim Collins the bronze.

Blake said the win felt like a dream, and thanked training partner Bolt.

"I can't find words to explain it," he told Channel 4. "My training partner has been there for me.

"I feel like I want to cry. I've been praying for this moment. It feels like a dream."

Asked if he was worried by the quick start made by Collins, he added: "I stayed cool. I knew I was going to catch him and I did."

Collins suggested the false-start rule is not right in its current form, which sees an athlete disqualified for any early move.

"I don't think it is," he told Channel 4.

"These things happen and you've got to give people a chance."

Blake had been the quickest qualifier from the semi-finals, clocking 9.95 in a race which also saw Britain's Dwain Chambers disqualified for a false start.

Previously athletes had been allowed one false start before being disqualified for a second, but new rules were introduced by the IAAF for the start of the 2010 season.

Rule 162.7 states that "An athlete, after assuming a full and final set position, shall not commence his start until after receiving the report of the gun. If, in the judgement of the starter or recallers, he does so any earlier, it shall be deemed a false start. Except in combined events, any athlete responsible for a false start shall be disqualified."

Silver medallist Dix - who just overhauled Collins on the line to finish 0.01s ahead of the 35-year-old - said of Bolt's disqualification: "I couldn't believe it, it's kind of surreal.

"I didn't think they were going to kick him out. It's pretty hard to kick Usain out of the race."

Bolt's exit drew all of the attention away from Blake's victory in a season's best time.

The 21-year-old did not compete in the last World Championships in Berlin after testing positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine.

A disciplinary panel organised by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) cleared him of a doping infraction on the grounds that the drug was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list.

However, JADCO appealed their own panel's ruling, stating that Blake should be disciplined as the drug was similar in structure to the banned substance tuaminoheptane.

With no decision possible before Berlin, Blake was withdrawn by the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association and an appeals tribunal subsequently ruled he should receive a three-month ban.