Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa on Sunday won the Vienna City Marathon, but was disqualified soon after when the soles of his shoes were found to be 1cm too thick in contravention of the rules.
Hurisa crossed the line with a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 22 seconds, but less than 45 minutes later was left distraught when his time was struck off as his shoe soles were 5cm thick.
The soles of road running shoes cannot be thicker than 4cm and Hurisa had worn a different set of shoes to the ones he had mentioned on his form.
“We also stressed in the technical meeting the rules about the shoes. Unfortunately, we had no other choice than disqualifying the athlete,” race coordinator Hannes Langer said. “It’s the first time something like this has happened. I’m pretty sure that from now on there will be some form of checks to avoid something like this to happen again in a major race.”
Kenya’s Leonard Langat, who finished three seconds behind Hurisa, was declared the winner as a result.
“Of course I would have preferred to have broken the tape,” Langat said. “I had no clue about the disqualification until they told me. It was of course my aim to win, and I thank God that in the end I did.”
The race, usually scheduled for April each year, was held in tough conditions with many runners complaining of the extreme heat and the event was overshadowed by the death of a 40-year-old Australian participant in the half-marathon.
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