Bolt: no problem with one-strike-and-out rule

Simon Turnbull
Sunday 23 October 2011 01:45
Bolt during a training session in Daegu following his disqualification from the 100m final
Bolt during a training session in Daegu following his disqualification from the 100m final

They were talking about the twitch in Daegu yesterday but there was no sign of a knee-jerk reaction. The morning after Usain Bolt's disqualification from the World Championship 100m final, close scrutiny of the replay showed a momentary twitch in the "set" position by Yohan Blake immediately before Bolt blatantly false started.

Blake's left knee and foot clearly quiver in the adjacent lane to Bolt – but ever so slightly, not enough to trigger the electronic reaction mechanism, as Dwain Chambers did with a more pronounced flinch in the semi-finals. Had Bolt lodged an appeal rather than ripping off his vest and accepting his fate, Blake's movement might have been deemed sufficient grounds to declare a faulty start rather than a false one and allowed the favourite to line-up for the re-start of the race – which was won by Blake, his Jamaican team-mate and training partner.

As it was, Bolt told The Gleaner newspaper yesterday that he had "no problem" with the controversial one-strike-and-out false-start rule which came into force last summer. He added in a statement: "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. However, I have to move on now, as there is no point dwelling on the past. I have a few days to focus and get ready for the 200m on Friday."

At the same time, Lord Coe, a vice president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, spoke out against a knee-jerk change of the false-start rule.

"The start's not a technical nicety," he told Channel 4. "It's a skill set in the race. You've got to be really careful about playing fast and loose with rules just because your highest profile competitor falls foul of them."

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