British sprinter Zharnel Hughes has been controversially stripped of his gold medal for a bizarre reason in the Commonwealth Games 200m race on Thursday.
The 22-year-old, who has already won gold for his country in Pan American Junior Championships, CARIFTA Games (Junior), CAC Junior Championships (Junior), and CAC Junior Championships (Youth) was on course to register yet another victory and win his first senior level gold medal for his country, but he lost balance in the final 10 metres, which would cost him dearly.
Even though the Anguilla-born sprinter managed to stabilise his composure and finish ahead of his closest rival - Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards, replays suggested that he pushed his arm into his rival to try and regain balance, which is an illegal manoeuvre.
The news was delivered to Hughes after he completed the lap of honour, and he was seen visibly shocked and distraught.
The event left a bad taste in the mouth of the English camp as well, who would’ve been devastated by the disqualification of a young sprinter on technical grounds.
With Hughes being disqualified, Richards was named the eventual winner of the race, whereas Northern Ireland’s Leon Reid came into the third spot and won the bronze medal.
As per the Daily Express, the English camp are preparing an appeal against the disqualification of Hughes.
Former American sprinter Michael Johnson also shared his view about the incident, and believed that Richard was well within his right to believe that he was impeded during the race.
“I think Richard felt he was impeded because the hand came up into his face and he did look over at Hughes, like ‘what are you doing’,” said Johnson.
“Zharnel Hughes loses his balance and that’s when the arm comes out. You’d expect him to keep doing what he’s doing there but you will see he leans and his arm comes down and he starts to lose his balance. He tries to then get back in and stay in the race -- so it’s a very odd finish.”
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