Home > The Scene

Vienna Marathon winner disqualified for wearing the wrong shoes

Derara Hurisa of Ethiopia was disqualified for wearing shoes with soles that were too thick

Drama ensued at the Vienna City Marathon on Sunday when, moments after crossing the finish line, race winner Derara Hurisa of Ethiopia was stripped of his title for wearing non-compliant shoes. Organizers determined the soles of his shoes were one centimetre thicker than what is allowed as per World Athletics rules.

RELATED: Runner breaks European record, disqualified for wearing Next% shoes

Hurisa crossed the finish line in 2:09:22 wearing the Adidas Adizero Prime X, which has soles that are five centimetres (50 mm), thicker than the 40 mm limit mandated by World Athletics. Less than 45 minutes later, officials struck his time off the list, noting that the shoes were different from the ones he indicated on his form.

Race co-ordinator Hannes Langer said they stressed the shoe rules in the technical meeting prior to the race, so they had no choice but to disqualify Hurisa. “It’s the first time something like this has happened,” he added. “I’m pretty sure that from now on there will be some form of checks to avoid something like this happening again in a major race.”

With his result eliminated, second-place finisher Leonard Langat of Kenya, who was three seconds slower than Hurisa in 2:09:25, was given the top spot. Betesfa Getahun of Ethiopia was second in 2:09:42, and third place went to Edwin Kosgei of Kenya in 2:10:10.

“Of course I would have preferred to have broken the tape,” Langat said in a post-race interview. “I had no clue about the disqualification until they told me. It was of course my aim to win and I thank God that in the end I did.”

RELATED: Yiannis Kouros suggests Kilian Jornet is shoe doping for 24-hour world record attempt

Kenyan runner Vibian Chepkirui won the women’s race in 2:24:29, followed by Ethiopia’s Meseret Dinke (second) in 2:25:31 and Gelete Burka (third) in 2:25:38.