Athletics world in uproar over 'disgusting' act after runner's horror fall

Jason Joseph has issued an apology after celebrating next to his unconscious rival.

Jason Joseph, pictured here celebrating his athletics victory right next to an unconscious Enrique Llopis.
Jason Joseph celebrated his victory right next to an unconscious Enrique Llopis. Image: Getty/World Athletics

Swiss runner Jason Joseph has issued an apology after his actions following a horrific fall from a rival athlete sparked widespread backlash. Joseph sprinted to victory in the final of the 60m hurdles at the European Athletics Indoor Championships, and celebrated wildly in jubilant scenes.

However his celebrations came under heavy fire after he failed to check on the wellbeing of rival runner Enrique Llopis. The Spanish athlete fell at the last hurdle and smashed his head on the track, rendering him unconscious.

'INSANE': Armando Duplantis stuns athletics with latest world record

TOO GOOD: Rohan Browning rebounds from gaffe in 100m victory

Joseph turned and ran back onto the track after crossing the finish line, but ran straight past Llopis and continued his celebrations. Medical staff and other runners rushed to Llopis' aid, but Joseph didn't seem to notice his stricken rival.

Spanish media slammed Joseph for “the most unsportsmanlike action in history”, leading the Swiss athlete to issue a grovelling apology. “First thing's first. I’m sorry I didn’t check that you were okay," he later wrote on social media.

“I was lost at the time. Totally blocked from what was around me. I hope you’re okay, I see you in outdoor competitions.”

Enrique Llopis, pictured here receiving treatment after falling in the 60m hurdles final at the European Indoor Athletics Championships.
Enrique Llopis receives treatment after falling in the 60m hurdles final at the European Indoor Athletics Championships. (Photo by Serhat Cagdas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Llopis was placed in a neck brace and taken from the track on a stretcher before being transferred to hospital. He was later cleared of serious injury and is expected to make a full recovery.

“Everything is good, all the tests came back fine,” he said in a video posted to social media. “Above all, thank you to the Federation and the medical staff. Now it’s time to recover.”

Olympian Jade Johnson tweeted about the incident with Llopis: "This fall was horrific. I went cold. Thankfully he came around and was taken to the hospital. All I can say is that he must have an EXTREMELY hard head."

Enrique Llopis, pictured here after his fall.
Enrique Llopis was taken from the track on a stretcher. (Photo by Sam Mellish/Getty Images)

Athletics world left fuming over 'disgusting' act

Joseph set a European record of 7.41 seconds to take the gold medal, while Poland’s Jakub Szymanski was second and France’s Just Kwaou-Mathey third. Llopis had won his semi-final and was in contention for the bronze medal when he fell.

Joseph's actions came under intense scrutiny on social media, with fans and pundits blasting his 'disgusting' celebrations. At the same meet, British runner Keely Hodgkinson won her third European 800m title to go along with her recent world record and two British records.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.