Jyothi Yarraji won a silver medal after drama in the women’s 100m hurdles race at the Asian Games. A Chinese runner made a false start but was allowed to continue. Yarraji won bronze originally but her medal was upgraded to silver upon review. Here’s why.
The women’s 100mH was the final event of the day on Sunday with two Chinese runners – Yuwei Lin and Yanni Wu – among the favourites for gold. There was a false start at the beginning of the race and to the naked eye, it was clear that Wu, in Lane 4, was the culprit, being more than a step ahead.
The officials looked at the replays and, surprisingly, came and showed the ‘Disqualified’ card to Jyothi, who was in the adjacent lane. The Indian national record holder protested and sought to check the replays herself.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) authorities confirmed that after protest, the officials checked again and corrected their decision, reinstating Jyothi and DQing Wu instead.
That led to Wu protesting and seeking permission to run under protest, which is allowed by rule, and finished second while Jyothi finished third, provisionally taking bronze. However, the final result sheet disqualified Wu while Jyothi was awarded silver.
“She protested for herself on the track and put her case very strongly. I am so, so proud of her today, specially after the disaster in the 200m in the morning,” a relieved coach James Hiller told Sportstar.
He also revealed that the same thing had happened in the final at the Asian Athletics Championships earlier this year with the same athlete. “She was DQed there also and Jyothi won gold,” he said.
There was talk of India officially lodging a protest but AFI authorities confirmed there was none. “When the official result by itself says she is second, where is the need to protest? Instead, China can lodge a protest, if it wants, to challenge the result,” they explained.
While Wu herself appeared adamant to do so, Chinese athletics officials were seen dissuading her near the Technical Information Centre, eventually convincing and taking her away.
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