The Biggest Upset Of The World Indoor Championships May Be The Line Judges

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports paul chelimo

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND (2-March) — A sloppy morning session on Day 2 of the IAAF World Indoor Championships saw 12 men disqualified, including the United States' gold medal hope in the men's 3K: Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo, whose third-place performance in the heats was invalidated for taking one step outside the rail.

That Chelimo lost his balance due to the jostling and tight nature of the men's pack up front doesn't matter, nor does it matter that he gained no conceivable advantage from the single step outside the rail.

It only matters that he took the step on the curve of the track and not the straight.

USATF will not protest the decision, representatives from the organization confirmed this afternoon.

The seemingly senseless DQ is similar to the one handed down to Colleen Quigley last summer after she qualified to the steeplechase final at the world championships.

"It's devastating," Chelimo said after he learned of the decision. "It's an indoor track and it's banked and we're running 15 laps, what do you expect? It's not going to be 100 percent — someone is going to lose a step. And it happened today, it was me who lost a step. 

"Whatever I was doing was not intentional. . . . I stepped inside the rail by mistake."

The ironic part is that Chelimo's disqualification opened the door for his teammate, Shadrack Kipchirchir, to advance to the final. The 10K specialist, widely believed to be a potential medal contender, fell off the pack in the first section after being jostled.

"Unfortunately, it's not... I'm not happy for this," Kipchirchir said. "I would not be happy for being disqualified for cutting in. I don't like it that way. I'm not happy about it. When I go to the final, I'll fight til the last minute, give all I got. I'm going to be 100 percent for sure, but that is not what I wanted. He's my buddy. To DQ him and put me in instead... I would rather stay here, but I cannot do anything."

Chelimo said he is happy that Kipchirchir will run the final, yet could not help feeling overwhelmed with disappointment.

"I qualified the right way," he said. "I was top four, that's what I worked for. I did not get any advantage by stepping inside the rail. The rules are rules. . . . I cannot bend the rules."

Below is a full list of athletes disqualified today. Only three delegations (Grenada, Costa Rica and Germany) filed protests on behalf of their athletes; all were rejected.

EventAthlete (Country)Reason
3KPaul Chelimo (USA)Curb Infringement
3KKemoy Campbell (JAM)Curb Infringement
3KYoussouf Hiss Bachir (DJI)Curb Infringement
3KRichard Ringer (GER)Athlete Obstruction
400Bralon Taplin (GRN)Lane Infringement
400Steven Gayle (JAM)Lane Infringement
400Abdalleleh Haroun (QAT)False Start
400Austris Karpinskis (LAT)Lane Infringement
400Alonzo Russell (BAH)Lane Infringement
400Nery Brenes (CRC)Lane Infringement
400Miriama Senokonoko (FIJ)Lane Infringement
400Maja Ciric (SRB)Lane Infringement

The onslaught of disqualifications brings to mind last night's women's 3K final, in which Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands arguably impeded Laura Muir in the homestretch by running out from lane one to lane three so the Scot was unable to pass her for the silver medal behind Ethiopia's Genzebe Dibaba.

After the race, Hassan denied knowingly impeding Muir and claimed "when I'm tired, I cannot control my body." 

Watch Hassan's post-race interview below:

Sifan Hassan Doesn't Remember Drifting Out Of Her Lane

Muir said she did not remember being impeded.

You can watch the controversial finish in the tweet below by forwarding to 0:25:

An official from British Athletics said today that the organization did not file a protest on Muir's behalf.

It's interesting that the line judges were so scrupulous with the rulebook this morning, yet saw no reason to indict Hassan — though her behavior clearly bears at least consideration of IAAF Competition Rule 163.2 (b), which states "if another athlete is found by the Referee to be responsible for the jostling or obstruction, such athlete (or his team) shall be liable to disqualification from that event."

The women will race again in the first round of the 1500m tonight.

Will today be the apex of DQs and poor line calls?

Or are there more technical upsets to come? 

Stay tuned...

Ben True Victorious In Half Marathon Debut

NYRR Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 8.25.15 AM.png

Ben True’s first foray into the half marathon went about as well as possible. The 32-year-old, best known for his abilities in the 5000 and 10,000m, used his track speed to outkick Dathan Ritzenhein to win the New York City Half Marathon in 1:02:39, becoming the first American man to win the race. Prior to Sunday, True had never raced longer than 10 miles. But he did have years of experience in shorter distances -- something that was especially useful after the conservative early pace turned the race tactical and put a premium on a fast finish. 

Briana Williams Passes Marion Jones' World Age Group Record in 100


Briana Williams just made history. 

On Saturday at the Bob Hayes Invitational in Jacksonville, Florida, the Oakland Park Northeast (FL) High sophomore broke a 27-year-old record held by Marion Jones in the 100m run, setting a new 15-year-old world age group record with a wind-legal time of 11.13 seconds (+1.7).

After Eight-Month Layoff, Costello Returns To Racing At NYC Half

New York Road Runners NYCH_Athletes_PS1_Visit_NYRR_Courtesy.jpg

By Rich Sands, @sands(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Photo: Liz Costello (third from right, back row) visiting Public School 1 in New York City in advance of the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half.  

NEW YORK (16-Mar) -- When Liz Costello toes the line in Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half it will be her first race in eight months. The Princeton grad had to scrap most of her summer and fall racing plans after her debut marathon left her in a physical and emotional crater.

MSU T&F Grad Assistant Resigns In Protest Of Nassar Case Handling

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 1.09.31 PM.png

Michigan State track and field graduate assistant Kassie Powell resigned from her position on Thursday in protest of the university's handling of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.

Ritz Gears Up For Boston, Sisson Takes On Tough Field: NYC Half Preview

Kirby Lee/Don Jackson Copy of 1280px × 720px – Untitled Design.png

With the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships scheduled for next weekend and major marathons in Boston and London on tap for April, the spring road racing season is in full swing. 

House Of Run: When A World Record Isn’t A World Record

Kirby Lee USA Today Untitled design.png

On this week’s episode of the House of Run, Jason and Kevin discuss the abundance of records at the NCAA Indoor Championships including Michael Norman’s world record in the 400m, Kendall Ellis and Sydney McLaughlin both running under the 400m American record, Eli Hall’s 60/200m double and the nonsensical tale of why USC’s men’s team won’t hold the 4 x 400m world record.

WATCH: Clarence Munyai Runs 19.69, Smashes South African 200m Record

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 9.53.23 AM.png

Clarence Munyai stunned the track and field world on Friday with a 19.69 clocking in the 200m. The 20-year-old from South African entered with a personal best of 20.10. The mark lopped 0.15 seconds off Wayde Van Niekerk’s South African national record and makes Munyai just the 10th man ever to run under 19.70. 

The Houston Men Might Break 31-Year Power Five Win Streak At NCAA Outdoors

TL2_0798.JPG Workout Wednesday: Inside Houston Sprints' Race Day Routine

The Houston men finished seventh overall in the team standings at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships with 26 total points, 20 of which came from Eli Hall's impressive 60/200 sweep. But don't expect the Cougars to be anywhere near the bottom of the top 10 this outdoor season. In fact, the Houston men are legitimate outdoor team title contenders for three reasons.

The New Mexico XC Team Might Score 50 Points At The 2018 NCAA Outdoors

DQEyoHOV4AArhrM.jpg New Mexico | Reloaded

The New Mexico women have an opportunity to pull off an incredible feat at this year's 2018 Division I NCAA Outdoor Championships. 

Kyron McMaster In The Hurdles, Sang/Goule In The 1500: 49er Classic Preview

Kirby Lee USA Today USATSI_9136548_168383134_lowres.jpg

The indoor season hasn’t been over for an entire week and attention has already turned outdoors. This weekend UNC-Charlotte hosts the 49er Classic, a meet that features collegians and professionals all itching to get an early start on their outdoor season.