(Reuters) -Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa won the Vienna City marathon on Sunday but was disqualified soon after when the soles of his shoes were found to be one centimetre too thick in violation of the rules.
Hurisa crossed the line with a time of 2:09:22 but less than 45 minutes later was left distraught when his time was struck off as his shoe soles were five centimetres thick.
The soles of road running shoes cannot be thicker than four centimetres and Hurisa had worn a different set of shoes to the ones he had mentioned on his form.
Race co-ordinator Hannes Langer said: “We also stressed in the technical meeting the rules about the shoes. Unfortunately, we had no other choice than disqualifying the athlete.
“It’s the first time something like this has happened. I’m pretty sure that from now on there will be some form of checks to avoid something like this to happen again in a major race.”
Kenya’s Leonard Langat, who finished three seconds behind Hurisa, was declared the winner as a result.
“Of course I would have preferred to have broken the tape,” Langat said. “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.”
The race, usually scheduled for April each year, was held in tough conditions with many runners complaining of the extreme heat and the event was overshadowed by the death of a participant in the half-marathon.
Organisers said an Austrian runner collapsed at the end of the race and was rushed to hospital where the 40-year-old died.
“We are very affected by this case. Our deep sympathy goes to the relatives of the runner,” race organiser Wolfgang Konrad said. “The organisers are not aware of any further details.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Pritha Sarkar amd Ken Ferris)