Runner disqualified for winning the wrong race

BRISTOL, UK The Bristol half marathon (21km) took place alongside the Bristol 10k in the Great Bristol Run on Sunday. Omar Ahmed had originally signed up to run the 10k but ended up accidentally running - and winning - the half marathon in just 63 minutes. Mr Ahmed went the wrong way when he reached the point where the course diverged for the two distances. The revised men's positions confirmed Chris Thompson, of Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletics Club, as the new winner with a time of 67 minutes.

The Great Run Company said Mr Ahmed, whose first name was spelt incorrectly on his race number, entered the 10k as an elite runner and not the half marathon, therefore he was not officially part of the half marathon race, and would "unfortunately" be disqualified. It said while Mr Ahmed had put in "an impressive performance", it had received objections from other athletes and a subsequent investigation took place, resulting in the disqualification.

Paul Foster, chief executive of The Great Run Company, added: "Rules are rules and in this case they say we have to disqualify Omar. We salute his performance, and he has been invited to take part in next week's Great Manchester Run as an elite athlete. Of course, we also look forward to welcoming him back to Bristol for 2022's Great Bristol Run."

The Bristol 10k is normally held in the spring and the half marathon at the end of the summer, but last year both races were cancelled because of Covid-19. In this year's events runners took on various routes covering the city centre, harbourside and Avon Gorge.

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