Usain Bolt was sensationally disqualified from the world 100m final yesterday after a catastrophic false start, allowing fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake in to claim gold.
Bolt, the defending champion, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder, rocked off his blocks in horrendous fashion and knew immediately he had made the biggest error possible in the world of sprinting.
Under rules which state that athletes no longer have a second bite of the cherry in the event of one false start, the 24-year-old ripped off his singlet in disgust and slowly retreated to the starting line, head in hands, to be steered off the track.
With the packed stadium abuzz in disbelief, it took several minutes to calm down. Blake, a training partner of Bolt under coach Glen Mills, made the most of the clean restart to power through to win in 9.92 seconds in a muted atmosphere.
American Walter Dix, the Olympic bronze medalist, took silver (10.08 seconds) and 2003 world champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis claimed bronze.
American Brittney Reese won the women’s long jump and teammate Trey Hardee the decathlon, while Russian Valeriy Borchin claimed a second consecutive world 20km race walking title.
Earlier in the day, Oscar Pistorius made history by becoming the first amputee athlete to compete in world championships history.
The South African came third in his 400m heat in 45.39 seconds, qualifying him for today’s semi-final, with a dream final scheduled for tomorrow.
Taiwan’s Liao Ching-hsien failed to advance in the women’s 100m as she finished sixth in her heat with a time of 12.16 seconds.
Additional reporting by Staff writer