Home NEWS Why Jyothi Yarraji’s bronze medal was upgraded to silver at Asian Games

Why Jyothi Yarraji’s bronze medal was upgraded to silver at Asian Games

False start, disqualification threat and a much-deserved medal upgrade; Jyothi Yarraji’s medal triumph in the recently concluded women’s 100m hurdles at the Hangzhou Asian Games sparked a huge debate in the world of athletics on Sunday. On a day when athletes kickstarted India’s athletics campaign in the Asian Games with a rich haul of medals, Yarraji starred in the 100m hurdles event which triggered a massive controversy at the 19th edition of the Asiad.

China’s Yuwei Lin and India’s Jyothi Yarraji in action during the women’s 100m hurdles final(REUTERS)

The women’s 100m hurdles witnessed some drama when China’s Wu Yanni made an early start to the event. India’s Yarraji appeared to have taken a cue from Yanni’s false start and both sprinters were called out by the officials at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. Jyothi started her race from lane 5 while Wu was in lane 4.

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Wu was off the blocks prior to the start gun went off. Thus, the race was stopped by the officials. Launching a protest, Jyothi argued that it was Wu who made the false start. Multiple replays on the trackside screen confirmed that Wu had made the early start and Jyothi only reacted to her movement.

Jyothi Yarraji bags silver after false start controversy

After a lengthy discussion, Yarraji and Wu were allowed to take part in the women’s 100m hurdles following the false start drama. Finishing behind her Chinese rival, Yarraji bagged the third spot in the 100m hurdles to take home a bronze medal. Meanwhile, the Athletics Federation of India registered a protest seeking Wu’s disqualification. Later, a delayed verdict upgraded Yarraji’s bronze medal to silver and Wu was disqualified from the race.

What is false start

Yarraji’s bronze was upgraded to silver after Yanni was disqualified under Technical Rule 16.8. As per Technical Rule 16.8, any athlete responsible for a false start shall be disqualified by the starter. “The rules clearly state that whoever leaves the ground first in case of a false start is disqualified. Jyothi’s hands were still on the ground while the Chinese athlete was already one and a half steps ahead of her. We lodged the protest even before the race restarted, paid the $100 fees mandated for lodging protests, and won. Jyothi’s medal has been upgraded to silver,” legendary long jumper Anju Bobby George said. Jyothi clocked 12.91 seconds to finish second in the race. China’s Yuwei Lin claimed the gold medal with a timing of 12.74 while Yumi Tanaka secured a bronze for Japan in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Asian Games.

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