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21 Oct 2021 14:44
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  •   Home > News > International

    Accidental winner of Bristol half-marathon disqualified after running wrong race

    After entering the elite 10km race in Bristol, Omer Ahmed ended up winning the half-marathon, having taken a wrong turn. However, the accidental winner then got disqualified for not entering the right race.


    Omer Ahmed never expected to win the Bristol half-marathon on Sunday. For a start, he hadn't even entered it.

    The Birmingham-based runner had put his name down for the 10km race, which was held on the same day for the first time this year.

    After setting off with the first wave of runners — which included elite athletes from both races — Omer took a wrong turn where the two routes diverged.

    He only discovered his mistake at the six mile (9.5km) mark of the 21.1km event.

    "I asked someone when I reached the sixth mile, 'is this a 10k'", he told the Bristol Post.

    "They said 'no, it's a half-marathon,' so after that I slowed down a bit."

    He might have slowed, slightly, but he still did enough to cross the line first, and set a new PB of 1:03:08 — almost five minutes ahead of Chris Thompson in second place.

    However, bad news was to follow for the accidental winner, when race organisers subsequently disqualified him.

    "Rules are rules and in this case they say we have to disqualify Omer," Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

    As Ahmed had not been entered in the half marathon, he was not officially part of the race and was disqualified after organisers received objections from other athletes.

    "We salute his performance and he has been invited to take part in next week's Great Manchester Run as an elite athlete," Foster said.

    "Of course, we also look forward to welcoming him back to Bristol for 2022's Great Bristol Run."

    [sports newsletter]

    © 2021 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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