Jyoti Yarraji won silver in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Hangzhou Asian Games amid high controversy and drama, after first being disqualified for a false start, and then being allowed to run the race pending a post-race review.
The official announcement that he was cleared came about half an hour after the end of the race; This promoted him from bronze to silver, as the second-placed Chinese athlete was disqualified and not reinstated.
Controversy erupted when China’s Yanni Wu made a false start before the starting gun went off; Jyoti was second in the block. However, both were disqualified, leading to plenty of trackside debate and arguments with the officials. Finally, both runners were allowed to run in the final with a caution: officials would decide after the race whether either of them would be disqualified.
Wu finished second by winning silver, while Jyoti finished third by winning bronze. However, the official announcement changed, to hand Jyoti silver in her first major international event.
What was the problem?
Jyoti was in 5 lanes, U was in 4 lanes. Athletes got into their running blocks and were ready to start the race. Before the start gun went off, Wu was out of the blocks and the race was stopped.
Jyoti immediately protested and pointed to the lane next to her indicating that Woo had started lying. An official investigation followed.
After watching multiple replays on trackside screens, the officials were convinced Wu had committed the default and showed him a red card. A red card means he has been disqualified and will not be allowed to race.
The officer then showed Jyoti a red card. He immediately protested the decision and said that Wei had started lying and asked why he was being punished.
What did the officials do?
They watched the replay a few more times, watching both runners, but didn’t make a clear decision. Wu conversed with the officers, while Jyoti remained in the background, looking angry and distraught. What did the replays show? The replays clearly show that Wu initiated and Jyoti reacted to his movement and not the other way around.