'What the hell': Aussie runner caught in 'ridiculous' athletics farce

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Liz Clay, pictured here after narrowly missing the 100m hurdles final at the Olympics.
Liz Clay was gutted after narrowly missing the 100m hurdles final at the Olympics. Image: Getty

Australian runner Liz Clay was left fuming on Sunday night after narrowly missing out on the 100m hurdles final at the Olympics.

Clay blamed a series of false starts for missing a spot in the final, despite stripping 0.01 off her PB with a time of 12.71.

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The Aussie's heat finally got underway after two false starts caused chaos and confusion.

The first false start was called despite none of the runners appearing to break early.

And there was mass confusion and frustration when another false start was declared in similar circumstances just minutes later.

“Whatever is happening it has to be sorted out," Bruce McAvaney said in commentary for Channel 7.

"If we have a situation like this in the final of this race or the (men’s) 100m final tonight (it will be a disaster).

“And then a long delay after the break. Too long that delay of six or seven minutes. This is messy.”

Clay said the farcical scenes had disrupted the runners.

"I'm gutted," she said. "I would have been in that final if it wasn't for all those false starts.

"I still think I held my own really well, but I know I'm good enough to be in the final.

“There was unsteadiness in the blocks for a few of them. I think a starter’s gun error in one of them."

Liz Clay, pictured here in the 100m hurdles semi-finals at the Olympics.
Liz Clay (L) finished third in her 100m hurdles semi-final but didn't advance. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Uproar over 'ridiculous' scenes at Olympics

The Aussie rookie was left shattered to have missed the final.

“It is my first major, to hold my cool through that and run a PB, I’m still proud of myself but I wanted it so bad," she added.

"I can’t believe I didn’t get there to be honest.

“It really hurts. I don’t have much more to say other than that.

"I’ve worked really hard to get here. To miss out by 0.08 or something is pretty crap.

“As I said, it has been such a long journey to get here. I’ve had a lot of support along the way, my coaches and my family have been amazing. Every time I’ve stepped out on to this track, I’ve felt at home.

“Look out in three years, I’m going to be in the final in Paris."

Fans and commentators also hit out on social media.

Sports reporter Sam Squiers tweeted: “What the hell! This is ridiculous - they’ve started this race 3 times and called it back!!"

with AAP

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