Right Field

The False Start Heard Round the World

Is it possible that the numbers watching the Track & Field World Championships could increase because of Usain Bolt NOT running?

In light of Bolt’s disqualification, the rules may change yet again for future races. But if they do, it will all take place with the world watching.

Interestingly, this process may not work out all that badly for anyone involved. Bolt can be castigated for making a bonehead rookie move, and the IAAF for having draconian rules in place, but no one’s credibility has been tainted. The IAAF stuck with its rules and Bolt did not benefit from special “celebrity exception” to it. Moreover, his disqualification has probably garnered more coverage than he would have gotten for winning the race, or even for setting a new world record (yawn.) His performance in the 200- and 400-meter races will get a lot more attention than they would have otherwise.

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