Looks Like Yohan Blake False Started ?

>> August 29, 2011

I have a mixed feeling as for the latest false start drama that destroyed the dream of the Olympic and world champion, Usain Bolt to retain the world 100m title. He moved out of the blocks "too early" and causes an elimination, thus enabled his training partner, Yohan Blake to create a history. According the new rule (162.7), any athlete commits a false start is automatically out of the race.

It  means that any flick, twitch, flinch and movement that cause a high pressure on the blocks pedal and happened in less than 0.100s would be considered a false start. But the IAAF rules doesn't state further consequences when there were flinch or body movement from other athletes that may trigger the others to react and commit false start.

Alright there is a question, who really made the first move? look at the video carefully, Usain Bolt in the lane 5 and Yohan Blake in lane 6. At the full set position, there is a slight body movement from Blake (0:13-0:15), which may trigger a respond (to move) from athletes who have already set the mind to react as fast as possible when a stimulus received. Nevertheless the flinch was not obvious, it's difficult to catch a minor flinch with naked eye. Furthermore, after the break, people (including the officials) focusing on Usain Bolt who took off his vest immediately then covered his face, seems expressing he was the one who guilty.

That's the first point. Another thing to point is that the mistake done by the officials. Under the rule 162.6 (c), the starter shall abort the start when there are interference or disturbs during set position. In this case, there was a bit interference. But again, it's dependent on the discretion or judgement of starter.

Video of men's 100m final (& false start) - IAAF World championships in atheltics

In contrast, experienced sprinter Dwain Chambers of GBR was disqualified for committed the same thing. Here is the video (fast forward 1:50);

Men's 100m semifinal 1 - Dwain Chambers false start, Yohan Blake won in 9.95

All in all, based on the rules and consideration (starter's discretion), Yohan Blake didn't commit a false start while Usain Bolt did. Maurice Greene was indeed correct when he predicts Blake would upsets Bolt at World championships. Anyway, the IAAF need to fix and improve the regulations regarding "the start" and judgements must be consistent.

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