False start rule draws ire after Bolt departs

Updated: 2011-08-29 09:30


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False start rule draws ire after Bolt departs 

Usain Bolt of Jamaica walks without his shirt after being disqualified for a false start during the men's 100 metres final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu August 28, 2011.  [Photo/Agencies]

DAEGU, South Korea - A controversial false start rule that sent world record holder Usain Bolt crashing out of the world championships on Sunday drew immediate fire from world 100 metres silver medallist Walter Dix.

The defending champion was ejected from the 100 metres final after false-starting. Athletes who false start are immediately disqualified under a new rule introduced by the world governing body last year.

"That false start (rule) is killing us," Dix told reporters after finishing second to Jamaican Yohan Blake. "Hopefully it will change by London (2012 Olympics)."

Bolt did not make a protest after his obvious mistake, removing his vest and leaving the track.

"I was shocked," said Blake, one of the Olympic champion's Jamaican training partners. "I didn't expect that of him. I just had to keep my head and get it done for Jamaica."

Although Blake said he had no problem with the rule, it has drawn the ire of a number of world class sprinters.

Most, including bronze medallist Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis, want the rule overturned or modified.

"At least give the field one false start," Collins said.

"That was the previous rule. The first false start went against the field with the offending party tossed out after the next."

The International Association of Athletics Federations has said it is continuing to study the new rule but has no immediate plans to alter it, although that could change after a 100 metres final without Bolt.

"I thought they was going to pin it on me," Collins, the 2003 world 100 metres champion, said of Bolt's false start.

"I was looking for them to say, there was a malfunction, or something else, (that) it really didn't happen because in all fairness, he's world and Olympic champion and world record holder and people all over the world wanted to see him tonight."

In addition to Bolt, Britain's Olympic 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu and sprinter Dwain Chambers have already have felt the full force of the rule in these championships.

Both were eliminated from the competition for leaving the starting blocks early.