While North America and Europe has packed it in for the 2014 track and field season, the Asian Games are being held this week in Inchenon, South Korea, and today the men’s 800m provided an interesting finish when Adnan Taess Akkar of Iraq crossed the finish line in fourth, more than a second back, but still managed to win gold after the first three runners were all disqualified.
Abdulaziz Ladan Mohammed of Saudi Arabia was the first athlete to finish, clocking 1:46.28, ahead of Qatar’s Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla and Abraham Rotich of Bahrain. Akkar crossed the line fourth, but shortly after it was announced that all three podium athletes had been disqualified — Mohammed for pushing another athlete and the other two for lane violations during the first lap of the two-lap event. Akkar was bumped up three places to gold.
The gold medal, if it stands, will be Iraq’s first of the multi-sport games. Akkar told media after the race that he does feel bad for the disqualified athletes and thought they were strong competitors, but also noted the rules are clear.
Teng Haining of China moved into second and another Qatari runner, Jamal Hairane, moved into third, from fifth and sixth, respectively.
The disqualified athletes have noted they plan to appeal the ruling.