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Six times track races went wrong

If only track and field had a penalty box

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 27: A member of the media falls down in the melee as Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after crossing the finish line to win gold in the Men's 200 metres final during day six of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for IAAF) Photo by: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for IAAF

When running a track race, you sometimes have to expect the unexpected. Sometimes runners fall, wipe out or get clotheslined by an unforeseen object. We are counting down the top five moments when track races go wrong.

You’d think in a sport so simple and easy to understand that spectators would know enough to stay off the field of play when a race is taking place. On May 7, at Japan’s national 10,000m championship, two employees of NHK Cable (who were airing the race) stepped onto the track in the middle of the race, taking out two of the athletes (see video below). The athletes managed to finish the race without suffering any major injuries.

 Spiderman attacks

At an indoor 800m race in Ireland, the lead runner gets caught up in the pole vault elastic bars down the home stretch, causing him to slow down, and ultimately lose, the race. The runner ended up receiving an automatic qualifying spot into the next round, since this interference was beyond his control. 

 “Let’s go, Lay-Lay”

Usually, in a 200m race, your margin of error is very small. At an AAU track meet at Northwest High School in Omaha, Neb., seven-year-old Talaya Crawford, the daughter of professional boxer Bud Crawford, lost her shoe at the start. Although it took her five seconds to get her shoe back on, it did not matter for Talaya, as she fought back to win the 200m race outright.

Jeffrey Julmis

At the Rio 2016 Olympics, 110m hurdler from Haiti Jeffrey Julmis had a race he’ll never forget. After running well in the heats, Julmis had a hard collision with the first hurdle in the semi-final. He managed to get up and finish the race before being disqualified.

Air Bud rips a speedy 100m

The second coming of Air Bud made an appearance at a 4x200m high school relay race in Utah last year, as a dog jumped on the track and eventually passed the leader and won. From the looks of it, the pup covered the final 100m in 11 seconds; there could be some Olympic potential here. Someone get this good boy some treats.

In honour of Will Smith’s Oscar performance (NSFW)

A high school runner at a Florida track meet was sucker punched and knocked to the ground by another athlete during a 1,600m race. The man who threw the punch was standing on the track (not in the race), during the middle of the mile, and the runner shoved him out of the way on his first time around. This seems to have upset him, and he struck the runner in the head on his next lap. The runner who was hit finished the race.