September 27, 2019
Note: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that, after initially being disqualified, Jakob Ingebrigtsen was reinstated in the final upon appeal.
DOHA, Qatar — Coming into the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships, which got underway today, one of the most compelling storylines was whether 19-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway could win the men’s 5,00 meters.
The distance world was full of buzz surrounding the teenage wonderkid, and for good reason. Ingebrigtsen, who two years ago at age 16 became the youngest person to run a sub-4 mile, entered Worlds as the betting favorite in the men’s 5000, quite an anomaly since no Norwegian has ever medalled in the 5000 and only one non-African-born man has medalled in the last 30 years (Craig Mottram, bronze in 2005). The double European champion Ingebrigtsen, who has pbs of 3:30.16 for 1500 and 13:02.03 for 5000, is also listed as the second choice in the 1500 odds.
Ingebrigtsen was initially disqualified from the 5000 shortly after finishing his preliminary heat in an auto qualifying spot. Ingebrigtsen was disqualified for taking at least three steps inside the rail with half a lap remaining. Approaching the final 200, there was still a large pack of nine men battling it out for five auto qualifying spots and Ingebrigtsen tried to pass Birhanu Balew of Bahrain on the inside when there wasn’t room to do it. He ended up taking at least three steps on the inside of the rail, including one that was on the turn inside the final 200.
See the infraction for yourself.
— LetsRun.com (@letsrundotcom) September 27, 2019
Under the rules, Ingebrigtsen clearly deserved a DQ.
IAAF Rule 163.3(b) and 164.4 reads as follows:
(b) In all races (or any part of races) not run in lanes, an athlete running on a bend, on the outer half of the track as per Rule 163.5(b), or on any curved part of the diversion from the track
for the steeplechase water jump, shall not step or run on or inside the kerb or line marking the applicable border (the inside of the track, the outer half of the track, or any curved part of the diversion from the track for the steeplechase water jump). Except as stated in Rule 163.4, if the Referee is satisfied, on the report of a Judge or Umpire or otherwise, that an athlete has infringed this Rule, he shall be disqualified.
4. An athlete shall not be disqualified if he (a) is pushed or forced by another person to step or run outside his lane or on or inside the kerb or line marking the applicable border, or (b) steps or runs outside his lane in the straight, any straight part of the diversion from the track for the steeplechase water jump or outside the outer line of his lane on the bend, with no material advantage thereby being gained and no other athlete being jostled or obstructed so as to impede his progress. If material advantage is gained, the athlete shall be disqualified. Note: Material advantage includes improving his position by any means, including removing himself from a “boxed” position in the race by having stepped or run inside the inside edge of the track.
It will be interesting to see what the reaction of the Ingebrigtsen camp is. Ingebrigtsen did not stop to talk to the media after his race. Earlier this year, Jakob’s father and coach Gjert Ingebrigtsen lashed out when Jakob’s older brother Filip was disqualified from the European Indoor Championships in the 1500 for the exact same mistake — trying to pass on the inside when there wasn’t room and then running several steps over the rail.
You can watch a video of that infraction below.
UPDATE: The Norwegian federation protested the decision and Ingebrigtsen was reinstated. Here is the full statement from the IAAF.
Norwegian athlete Jacob INGEBRITSEN (bib number 1334) was disqualified for stepping inside the kerb.
The Norwegian Team presented an appeal to the Jury, claiming that their athlete had been pushed 200m before the Finish Line and forced to step out.
The Jury of Appeal reviewed the video and concluded that all three steps taken inside the kerb by the athlete were the result of a contact with another athlete. No material advantage was gained.
The Jury of Appeal therefore decided to accept the appeal presented by the Norwegian Team and the result will be modified accordingly.
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