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Vienna Marathon winner Hurisa disqualified for wearing wrong shoes

Derara Hurisa

Bengaluru, September 14: Vienna Marathon winner Derara Hurisa's joy was short lived as the Ethiopian long-distance runner was disqualified for wearing the wrong shoes.

The 24-year-old had crossed the line first by 3sec, but was later told he had been disqualified because the soles of his shoes were 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) thicker than the maximum 4 centimeters allowed.

Vienna Marathon Organisers said Hurisa had registered another shoe that met race rules, but switched to the shoes he had used in training to run the actual marathon.

"I can't say at the moment why he didn't run in the shoes that were specified in the form," race co-ordinator Johannes Langer said.

"We had also stressed in the technical meeting the rules about the shoes. Unfortunately, we had no other choice than disqualifying the athlete.

"It's the first time something like this has happened. I'm pretty sure that from now on there'll be some form of checks to avoid something like this to happen again in a major race," added Langer.

Leonard Langat of Kenya, who had originally finished second - in 2hrsm 9min and 25sec was declared the winner.

"Of course I would've preferred to have broken the tape," Langat said.

"I had no clue about the disqualification until they told me. It was of course my aim to win and I thank God that in the end I did," he added.

Betesfa Getahun of Ethiopia and Kenya's Edwin Kosgei completed the top three.

The race, usually scheduled for April each year, was held in tough conditions with many runners complaining of the extreme heat and the event was overshadowed by the death of a participant in the half-marathon.

Vienna Marathon Organisers said an Austrian runner collapsed at the end of the race and was rushed to hospital where the 40-year-old died.

"We're very affected by this case. Our deep sympathy goes to the relatives of the runner," race organiser Wolfgang Konrad said.

Debutant Vibian Chepkirui of Kenya won the women's race in 2:24:29.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Read more about: marathon athletics controversies
Story first published: Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 11:45 [IST]
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