Gold medals were handed out in three events Sunday at the World Athletics Championships. But day two was overshadowed by a controversy involving American sprinter Jon Drummond's disqualification from the quarter-finals of the men's 100 meters.
Under a new IAAF [International Association of Athletics Federations] rule, all runners are charged with the first false start in an event. After that, any subsequent false starts, as determined by an electronic foot pad, are grounds for disqualification.
After an initial false start by another runner, Drummond and a Jamaican runner were ruled to have made a second false start and disqualified. Drummond vehemently protested, stomping around the track and eventually, lying down on it. Australian sprinter Patrick Johnson was in Drummond's heat, and talks about his reaction to the uproar. "It's disappointing. I mean, being at this level of world championships and having an incident like this, it's tough on all athletes. But you can not blame the guy. I mean, if I was in the same situation it is difficult to sort of see how you would react," he said.
When officials tried to re-run the heat, the crowd protested so loudly that it took eight or nine tries before the starter's gun could be heard. Afterwards the IAAF held an emergency meeting, and spokeswoman Anna Legnani said officials had decided any sanctions against Drummond would wait until after the championships.
But American Kelli White, who won gold medal in the women's 100 meters with a time of 10.85 seconds, says the delay caused by Drummond's protest also impacted her event. "The delay was a little bit much for us, you know we warm up for a certain time and when we get delayed a half hour it gets a little bit nerve-wracking but it turned out well anyway," she says.
Torri Edwards of the United States won the women's 100 meter silver, while Zhanna Block of Ukraine took the bronze.
Earlier, Kenenisa Bekele led an Ethiopian sweep of the medals in the men's 10,000 meters. His winning time of 26 minutes and 49.57 seconds was two tenths of a second faster than countryman Haile Gebrselassie. And there was gold for Yelena Nikolayeva Sunday morning, as she won the women's 20 kilometer walk in a time of one hour 26 minutes and 52 seconds.