Team GB disqualified from 4x400m for ‘taking baton out of exchange zone’

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Football News

“That’s better guys!” said BBC Sport’s lead commentator as Great Britain’s men crossed the finish line in their 4x400m relay semi-final in first place.

Nigel Levine, Delano Williams, Matthew Hudson-Smith and Martyn Rooney finished in a time of two minutes 58.88 seconds to secure their place in the final - or so they thought.

Team GB then learnt that they’d been disqualified, much to the disbelief of the runners and those commentating for the BBC. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).


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From the video footage, there appeared to be little wrong with the transition of the baton.

However, the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) report on the race revealed why the call had been made to disqualify the race winners.

IAAF's report reveals why Team GB were disqualified

According to the report, per BBC Sport, Team GB were penalised for “taking the baton out of the exchange zone”.

The IAAF have yet to confirm the reason for Great Britain’s omission, but a subsequent appeal has been rejected.

Brazil now qualify for the final...

Team GB clocked the third fastest time behind Jamaica and the United States, who ran in the first semi-final, and their disqualification means Brazil now progress to the final as the eighth-fastest qualifier.

Steve Cram and Martyn Rooney react

"We have been told it is a rule where you cannot start running outside of the zone," BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram commented.

"Martyn Rooney had one foot outside of the line. Whether the judges had decided he had started running because of that... it would be incredibly harsh."

Rooney, who also failed to make the Olympics’ 400m final, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "In the first changeover you have to be between two red lines which are about 20 metres apart. You have to stay within those red lines.

"From then on there is a solid red line across the track which is about 10 metres before the finish line and 10 metres afterwards, and you have to exchange within the zones.

"I haven't seen it, but I can't see how any of us went outside those zones."

Video: Did GB’s men deserve to be disqualified for this?

Link: BBC's official video of the incident

Was the ruling harsh or fair on Team GB? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

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