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Historic 400m win

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

BIRMINGHAM, England - Pavel Maslak became the first man to win three world indoor 400 metres gold medals on Sunday after benefiting from another disqualification row in which the two athletes who finished in front of him were denied their medals.

Within minutes of the Czech crossing the line third in 45.47, Maslak was promoted to gold from bronze after Spain's Oscar Husillos and Luguelin Santos from the Dominican Republic were both judged to have run outside their lanes.

The decision to disqualify them was greeted with boos around the arena.

American Michael Cherry, who finished fourth in 45.84, was subsequently promoted to silver, with Trinidad's Deon Lendore, who finished fifth in 46.37, taking bronze.

A Spanish appeal against the decision was rejected after video evidence was examined. The Jury of Appeal said Husillos had been disqualified under Rule 163 governing lane infringement.

However, with images on social media appearing to also question the legitimacy of Cherry's run, the controversy seemed entirely in keeping with a championships where disqualifications have come thick and fast over two days.

The latest case left many spectators bemused and will prompt inevitable calls for a review of the rules governing running outside the lane.

"This needs to be looked at," said former world and Olympic champion Michael Johnson, who was commentating on the event for the BBC. "People just saw a race but the result did not reflect what they saw."

The spate of disqualifications had begun in heat three of the 400m on Friday when for the first time in athletics history an entire major international field was disqualified.

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