Despair, disqualification, delight – plenty of drama as Welwyn Garden City’s Hannah Williams wins bronze
PUBLISHED: 08:04 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:09 06 March 2018
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Hannah Williams had to wait until almost two hours after the final of the 4x400m relay before finding out she had won bronze at the World Indoor Athletics Championship.
The young WGC athlete was running for Great Britain along with Amy Allcock, Meghan Beesley and Zoey Clark on the last day of the event in Birmingham.
And it seemed like they had missed out on a medal when they came in fourth behind the USA, Jamaica and Poland.
However, disappointment soon turned into joy as news came through that the Jamaicans had been disqualified for one of their waiting athletes at the change-over standing in the wrong position.
That boosted the British quartet into third, but then came the news that GB had themselves been disqualified for ‘bumping and barging’ and it was only after an appeal was upheld deep into Sunday evening that the foursome could celebrate.
The championships have been noted for the sheer number of disqualifications, 21 in total by the end of the week.
Most of these were for lane infringements, athletes running outside of their allocated lane.
Speaking on BBC Two, the eight-time world champion Michael Johnson called it “absurd”. He said: “I believe the IAAF will have to do something about this. The problem will continue with lane infringements. This was on an absurd level.
“If you step on the line one time, you don’t get much advantage. When it amounts to this number of disqualifications and confusion, I think fans get to a point where they zone out, thinking they don’t know who won. That’s no fun for the fans.”