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British Para-cyclist Sophie Unwin was left in tears after she had her bronze medal taken away and was refused a podium moment after a bizarre rule at the Commonwealth Games.
Unwin, piloted by Georgia Holt, defeated Scotland's former Paralympic runner Libby Clegg, piloted by Jenny Holl, in the indoor cycling event with the leaderboard showing a bronze medal for the British star.
'Bloody robbed': Medal hope cops bizarre penalty at Comm Games
The 28-year-old was overwhelmed after winning the medal and was expecting to enjoy her hard earned moment on the podium for Commonwealth glory.
However, in a cruel rule, the bronze medal was not to be awarded because of the number of competitors in the event.
Five teams were expected to take part in the event, but a withdrawal left four chasing the medals.
Due to a bizarre rule, only gold and silver medals were to be awarded due to the number of participants.
However, this was not communicated to the competitors with the board showing Unwin had won bronze and the Commonwealth Games website also relaying the result.
Unwin and Holt were asked to cut-short their post-race interviews for the podium ceremony.
They were to join Aussie gold medal winner Jessica Gallagher and Scotland's silver medallist Aileen McGlynn for the ceremony.
Unwin and Holt photobomb podium ceremony
But, in a horrible twist, Unwin emerged crying after she was told she wouldn't be awarded a medal.
Not to be deterred, when the medal ceremony was taking place, Unwin and Holt photobombed the podium.
But they were quickly told to move on.
The duo later appeared on the podium with what was reported to be borrowed medals so they could enjoy their well deserved moment.
The bizarre circumstances had many outraged at how the proceedings had unfolded for Unwin and Holt.
PA Sport reporter Ian Parker admitted there was 'plenty of confusion' within the arena on what was unfolding in front of them.
Plenty of confusion at the velodrome as Sophie Unwin and Georgia Holt thought they had won bronze on the tandem, only to be told there were not enough teams in the event.
They tried to photobomb the podium ceremony before being moved on.#Birmingham2022 pic.twitter.com/DXfsMuoopD
— Ian Parker (@iparkysport) July 29, 2022
First this then an utter farrago over the awarding of women's tandem medals at the velodrome today.
Sophie Unwin doesn't have a medal but she is listed on the medal table.
Integration is great but not when it's done like this.#B2022 https://t.co/j6fRQBszmR
— Tom Harle at #B2022 (@TomHarleSB) July 29, 2022
If the officials messed up and didn’t make this clear before the race then the officials are at fault, not the competitors. Seems unfair to deny them their medals.
— Paul Marr (@SerendipitySays) July 29, 2022
After para-cyclists Sophie Unwin + Georgia Holt were left upset over the handling of not being awarded bronze medals despite coming 3rd, CGF say it’s “been made aware of an issue that took place…we are investigating this to establish the clear facts around what has taken place”
— Laura Scott (@LauraScott__) July 29, 2022
It's likely printed in some handbook. Honestly it shouldnt matter how many past Bronze spot are in the event, you finish within a set time for Bronze, and not seen as just running the race in your own time, then you get that Bronze.
— Jaikula Freedom (@JaikulaFreedom) July 29, 2022
We were there; it was a shambles
— Rob Cooke (@RobMCooke) July 29, 2022
Team England has asked the Commonwealth Games Federation on clarification on why the medal ceremony unfolded the way it did and and argued the decision goes against the goal of greater inclusion and in the Games.
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