IAAF: False start rule to stay
Daegu - The IAAF has no plans to change its stringent false start rule for next year's London Olympics despite the disqualification of Usain Bolt in the 100 meters at the World Championships.
IAAF President Lamine Diack said no one at Sunday's Council meeting asked for the rule to be reconsidered and added it will still be there next year.
In the wake of Bolt's disqualification last Sunday, critics called the zero-tolerance false start regulation of "one error and you are out" cruel and counterproductive since it eliminated the sport's only superstar from its marquee event.
"We will not come back to the issue of the false start," Diack said. "Bolt had a false start, but that is not going to make us change."
Many, including Jamaican officials, wanted the IAAF Council to reconsider the rule to avoid having a similar incident next year in London. Bolt himself said it was a lesson for him and did not demand a change.
Instead, Bolt blamed an anxiety attack.
"I'm not going to say it should be changed," Bolt said after winning the 200 late on Saturday. "It has taught me a lesson, focus and stay in blocks. My coach has been telling me this for months.
"The guy with the gun gives the command and we should listen and not anticipate the gun and I've learned from that and wish to move on from that."
Diack gladly pointed out that Bolt was on his side of the debate and insisted the current system was the best available option.
Until 2003, the rule was that every runner got a second chance. But too many false starts delayed the schedule of events all too often. At first it was tightened to allow just one false start per race in sprint events. But certain sprinters deliberately false started to put everyone on guard.
And then last year, the IAAF tightened the rule to the extreme and punished every false start with disqualification.
Bolt was not the only high profile casualty of the system. Dwain Chambers also was eliminated in the 100 and Olympic 400 champion Christine Ohuruogu false-started in the heats.