Carson, CA- Justin Gatlin was disqualified yesterday for false-starting in his preliminary round race of the 100m. Ordinarily this would have meant that Gatlin, last year’s Olympic 100m champion and the fastestAmerican 100m sprinter this year, would have no shot at competing in the 100m final and thus no chance at making the World Championships team in that event. Gatlin however was given a free-pass in to the 100m semifinal though and went on to win the final in the 100m against people who had to run 2 rounds of qualifying races as opposed to Gatlin’s single race.
Gatlin was originally disqualified because his reaction time to the gun (as measured by pressure sensitive starting blocks) was below what the rules of the sport deem to be humanly possible. This is undeniable. But Gatlin protested the disqualification, saying the athlete next to him, MarkJelks, flinched which caused him to jump the gun. After reviewing tapes of the race, meet referee Ed Gorman agreed and used his discretion to advance Gatlin to the semifinal round. I didn’t watch the race or see the video but on the surface this seems suspicious. Let me know what you think in the latest poll.