A lifeline for Colleen Quigley? London World Champ organizers put cone out in violation of IAAF rules
August 10, 2017
LONDON – On Wednesday at the 2017 IAAF World Championships, American Colleen Quigley was disqualified from the women’s 3000 steeplechase prelims for barely grazing the white line on a turn after the water jump in the middle of the 3000-meter steeplechase as shown here:
As fans of the sport, we are outraged both in this instance and last year when it happened to Ezekiel Kemboi in the Olympics that someone would be DQ’d for such a minor infraction in the middle of a nearly two-mile race. However, the IAAF rulebook doesn’t allow for common sense and demands a DQ when an athlete steps on the line during a curved portion of the race unless they were forced inside.
However, further examination of race replays reveal that Quigley may have solid grounds for an appeal of her DQ. Video evidence shows that the cones on the track were not set up according to IAAF regulations. When cones appear on the track in place of a kerb at an IAAF competition, they are supposed to be placed on top of the line per IAAF rule 160.1 (emphasis added by LetsRun.com):
if a section of the kerb on a bend has to be temporarily removed for Field events, its place on the surface beneath shall be marked with a white line 50mm in width and by cones or flags, minimum height 0.20m, placed on the white line so that the edge of the base of the cone or flag pole coincides with the edge of the white line closest to the track, and placed at intervals not exceeding 4m. (Flags shall be placed at an angle of 60° with the ground away from the track.) this shall also apply to the curved section of the steeplechase track where athletes divert from the main track to negotiate the water jump, to the outer half of the track in the case of starts according to Rule 162.10 and, optionally, to the straights, in this latter case, at intervals not exceeding 10m.
However, race replays show that the cone just prior to where Quigley stepped on the line on the curve was not set up on top of the line per regulations. It was set up inside the line as shown in the following screenshots:
This to us is strong grounds for Quigley being reinstated to the final. It seems only fair. If the London organizers didn’t put the cones in the correct place to deter people stepping on the line, why would you DQ someone for grazing the line in the middle of the race?
The IAAF rule is explicit on where the cones should be placed. The cone in question was a few centimeters off and thus made it more likely that an athlete like Quigley would step on the line. Common sense tells us she should be allowed to run the final due to the officials’ error.
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