With 8 false starts in the 100 metres, including two in the men’s final and one in the women’s final, disqualified athletes were upset — some of them pointing fingers at the sensors which had allegedly been wrongly calibrated. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) took pains to explain that the technology used was fail-proof and the latest version of a tried-and-tested version.
When it came to settling the matter following a protest by Malaysia’s Khairul Hafiz, the technical officials had to fall back on high definition footage of a fast moving camera recorded by a Japanese team member. Hafiz and Tang Xingqiang of China had been disqualified following false starts in the men’s 100m final but the Malaysian had appealed the decision against him.
However, when the footage from the high definition camera was viewed, it came to light that Qatar’s Tosin Joseph had also false-started. Joseph was subsequently disqualified. The jury also upheld Hafiz’s disqualification. “The Japanese had taken footage using a high definition fast moving camera and it also showed that it was a ‘correct foul’. The Technical Director saw the false start (on the video also) and certified it. The machine has taken the reading and the video footage taken by the Japanese confirmed false start. Moreover, the equipment has been certified by the IAAF,” said Athletics Federation of India secretary CK Valson .
However, the AFI secretary clarified that the unusually high number of false starts was the result of the latest version of equipment, which is highly sensitive to even the slightest movement. l; However, Malaysian official Jad Adrian Washif said: “We are not happy with the verdict because we think the officials have not looked at the technical aspects. Our athlete’s foot or hand did not lose contact with the starting blocks. The officials have not been able to explain why Hafiz was disqualified.”
According to IAAF rules, ‘any motion by an athlete that does not include or result in the athlete’s foot/feet losing contact with the foot plates of the starting blocks, or the athlete’s hands losing contact with the ground shall not be considered to be the commencement of the start’.