Looks Like Yohan Blake False Started ?

>> August 29, 2011

There is some confusion regarding the false start drama recently.

To begin with, Usain Bolt was unable to retain his world 100m title. Reason: false start. 

Clearly, he moved out of the blocks "too early" (-0.10s) and resulted in disqualification. According the new rule (162.7), one false start would result in disqualification.

Automatically, it paved a larger window for his training partner, Yohan Blake to create a history

Regardless of intention, any movements including flicking, twitching, or flinching, which can produce certain level of pressure on the pedals of a block, if occurred before 0.100s, would be considered false start. 

Here is the problem. Which athletes made the first movement at the set position? please have a look at the video carefully:
  • See Usain Bolt in the lane 5, and see also Yohan Blake in lane 6. 
  • At the full set position, there is a slight body movement from Blake (0:13-0:15), which might have triggered 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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