England's 4x400m women's relay team have been disqualified and stripped of their gold medal in dramatic scenes at the Commonwealth Games.
The English team appeared to have edged the narrowest of victories in the final race of the athletics program in Birmingham, with Jessie Knight holding off Kyra Constantine of Canada in a photo finish.
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The victorious English team then celebrated with a lap of honour, posing for photos with their flag and soaking in the raucous applause from their home crowd at Alexander Stadium.
But long after the majority of fans had left and the dust was settling, England were sensationally disqualified for a lane infringement.
— Francis Keogh (@HonestFrank) August 7, 2022
The English team considered appealing before deciding it wasn't worth it, with Jodie Williams clearly stepping out of her lane when receiving the baton from Victoria Ohuruogu for the race's first changeover.
Canada were subsequently elevated to gold, with Jamaica grabbing silver and Scotland the bronze.
Ohuruogu, Williams and Ama Pipi had given Knight a handy lead to work with, and she held on to finish just 0.01 seconds in front of Constantine.
But their elation later turned to absolute misery when the disqualification was announced.
It wasn't all bad news for England's track stars, with their men’s 4x100m team successfully defending their title to lead an English final-day medal haul that included silvers for Matt Hudson-Smith (400m), Ohuruogu (400m), and the women’s 4x100m team.
Gut-wrenching for the England girls in the 4x400m as they are disqualified due to Jodie Williams stepping out go the track early on in the race.
It's so so harsh but rules are rules. https://t.co/GUbciiSjH8
— Tim Adams (@TimAdams76) August 7, 2022
Jodie Williams of Team England steps out of her lane in the Women’s 4x400m relay race as the England Team are disqualified. Shot for @ShutterstockNow #Birmingham2022 #CommonwealthGames2022 #canonphotography #canon #Athletics #TrackandField #Birmingham pic.twitter.com/cjKZ1eGa8l
— Ryan Browne (@RyanBPhoto) August 7, 2022
This appears to be the infringement that caused England’s DQ in the 4x400 relay, Jodie Williams stepping into lane two at the first changeover… pic.twitter.com/CzJuKwwXMD
— Phil Champion (@Phil_Champion) August 7, 2022
Disappointing. Not at this level but I ran a lot of 4x4s back in the day. There's no excuse for a first change lane infringement. https://t.co/E1xlWkH0pe
— London Martin (@TallMartinH) August 7, 2022
This is so harsh imo. Lane infringement was so minor and didn’t help England gain time or affect the race outcome. Why ruin what was an enthralling finish with this kind of pedantry?! #CWG22 https://t.co/hOhv2hewbG
— Benjamin Watts (@BenWattsSport) August 7, 2022
Peter Bol and Abbey Caldwell claim medals for Australia
Meanwhile, Peter Bol and Abbey Caldwell further confirmed Australia's rising status in world middle-distance running as the green and gold squad claimed overall track and field bragging rights at the Commonwealth Games.
Pre-race favourite Bol finished second behind Kenyan Wycliffe Kinyamal in the men's 800m final and Caldwell pocketed a surprise bronze medal in the women's 1500m.
Brooke Buschkuehl then won Australia's final medal of the Games, a second-successive Commonwealth silver in the long jump.
The 800m silver was bittersweet for Bol, who became an overnight sensation last year when he twice broke the national record and finished fourth in the final at the Tokyo Olympics.
"I wanted the win, but starting with a medal, that's what we wanted," the 28-year-old said.
"There was a lot of pressure, a lot of anticipation. I think we lived up to it and that's the first medal down."
Kinyamal went to the front with 250 metres to go and held on for the win in one minute 47.52 seconds, with Bol coming home second in 1:47.66.
"If we had maybe another 20 metres I could have won but we're only running 800 metres, not 820," Bol added.
"You look at the start list and there are no front runners out there.
"I knew it was going to be tactical and I knew I was going to have to come home strong and I think we did, so I'm happy with that."
Despite winning the national title and getting the automatic qualifying time, Caldwell was controversially overlooked for the 1500m at last month's world championships in Eugene.
Finishing on the podium in Birmingham was something of a two-fingered salute to the selectors, even if she chose not to rub it in.
The 21-year-old stormed home in the final straight, overtaking fellow Australian Linden Hall to claim third place in 4:04.79.
"Honestly I don't know where that came from," Caldwell said.
"The 1500s are brutal and I just think I saw those girls in front and I found that extra gear and to come from behind, it meant so much to me.
"I felt it was there, but when you are in that state you don't see the finish line, you just go for it.
"... Things like (non-selection) are going to burn at the start, but it's part of the sport and you have got to take it."
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