The Internet can’t stop talking about the 400m runner’s lunge for Olympic gold

Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas won Olympic gold in the women's 400m last night with a finish line lunge. Now, it's a controversial topic.

August 16th, 2016 by | Posted in Rio 2016 | Tags: , , , , , ,

Shaunae Miller’s late-race maneuver in the women’s 400m on Monday evening at the Rio Olympics has everyone in the running world talking. It appeared that the athlete from the Bahamas dove across the line to out-lean American Allyson Felix.

People were quick to chime in on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook about whether the dive at the line should be legal or not. As it stands, Miller’s finish is completely within the rules. If you watch the video back again (footage can be found lower down on this page), it appears that the lunge across the line may be due to fatigue as lactic acid hits at the end of the one-lap race.

A lunge across the line is not actually that uncommon. It’s just that the stakes were high and that it happened for Olympic gold. Earlier in the night, a Brazilian qualified for the men’s 110m hurdles semifinals with a dive and the crowd went wild. See footage of that here.

Since a runner’s finishing time is based on when their torso crosses the finish line, Miller was able to hold off the charging Felix by 0.07 seconds. Miller, 22, won in 49.44 to Felix’s 49.51 to win her first Olympic gold over the seven-time Olympic medallist.

RELATED: See the full race report on the women’s 400m here.

The Internet was buzzing last night and into this morning about the now-controversial finish. Some are saying that it’s unsportsmanlike while others are emphasizing that the lunge was merely due to late-race fatigue. The lunge has also prompted many to say that a finisher must be on their feet when they cross the line. Others noted that it was a “do anything to win” type measure as she is now an Olympic champion.

It’s not the first time a lunge at the line has happened in a 400m race at the Olympics. American David Neville won bronze at the 2008 Olympics in the 400m with a sprawling effort at the line.

Canadian Running posted the following photo to Instagram late Monday. More than 50 people chimed in with their opinion and thoughts on the race.

ESPN correspondent Darren Rovell created a Twitter poll on Monday and, with more than 31,000 votes, there is currently a 53 per cent vote against the use of a dive at the end of a race.

Video of the finish

People on Twitter react to Miller’s finish