European Championships 2014: Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad wins 3,000m gold, then gets disqualified for taking off vest

Mekhissi-Benabbad coasted home topless, with officials deciding to disqualify him from the finals standings as a result

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt over time, it’s never, ever celebrate prematurely. For one French athlete competing at the European Championships, he managed to hold off the challenge of his rivals despite taking off his vest in celebration on the home straight – and was promptly disqualified after winning gold.

Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad was so over the moon with his triumph that he felt the need to remove his shirt before he’d even tackled the final hurdle during the men’s 3,000m steeplechase final.

Yet after soaking up the adulation of the crowd and celebrating his triumph, Mekhissi-Benabbad was then shown a yellow card by an official for his over-the-top celebrations, before being disqualified from the event completely – thus snatching away his gold medal that he had just earned in the most testing of conditions.

Spain also protested that Mekhissi-Benabbad should be disqualified on grounds that he broke the rules regarding ‘clothing, shoes and bibs, and despite France appealing the decision, Mekhissi-Benabbad was removed from the results.

Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad His compatriot Yoann Kowal took gold as a result, with Krystian Zalewski of Poland and Spain’s Angel Mullera bumped up the podium due to Mekhissi-Benabbad disqualification.

Mekhissi-Benabbad crosses the line with his vest in hand Mekhissi-Benabbad crosses the line with his vest in hand Speaking to the European Championships’ official website before the disqualification was announced, Mekhissi-Benabbad said: “When I took off my vest on the last metres, it was because of my joy, of course. It was the pleasure of winning. I was so happy to defend my title.

Mekhissi-Benabbad jumps the final hurdle with his vest in his mouth Mekhissi-Benabbad jumps the final hurdle with his vest in his mouth “The main thing was to win. I did not know that I was going to get a yellow card for that.

“But this yellow card, this is nothing. It was just the emotion. Today I will enjoy my victory and we have to see how this evening will finish.”

Mekhissi-Benabbad is consoled by his coaches Mekhissi-Benabbad is consoled by his coaches Fellow Frenchman Kowal added: “What Mahiedine did with his vest was not disturbing or anything, nothing important.”

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable