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Canadian sprinter loses NCAA conference title for showboating

A hand gesture at the finish line ends Canadian 400m sprinter Michael Roth's NCAA season

Michael Roth Canada Photo by: Kevin Morris

Canadian sprinter Michael Roth thought he had won his NCAA conference 400m title and came away with a huge personal best of 45.78 seconds at Sunday’s American Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in San Antonio, Texas. Then he was disqualified for showboating at the finish line.

Roth had a significant lead as he rounded the bend into the final 100m of the one-lap race. Instead of running straight through the line, he looked back at his competitor and made a hand gesture.

Roth ended up being disqualified for unsportsmanlike behaviour, resulting in him losing the conference title and his new personal best.

“Soft disqualification, but it’s alright,” Roth wrote on his Instagram story. “I still have work to do.”

The 22-year-old from St. Thomas, Ont., recently represented Team Canada in the mixed 4x400m at the World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas. If he had not been disqualified, his time would have been the second-fastest by a Canadian this year—behind Christopher Morales Williams‘ 44.05 national record from last weekend’s SEC Championships.

Christopher Morales Williams sets new Canadian 400m record

The disqualification resulted in the end of Roth’s NCAA season, as the University of Texas-San Antonio men’s 4x400m relay team also did not advance to regionals.

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