Monday, May 21, 2012

Hurdler loses personal best time due to officials' blunder

Running on home turf nearly two months before the London Olympics, Jessica Ennis thought she had produced a career-best in the 100-meter hurdles— until track organizers discovered a major blunder.  The officials had set out only nine hurdles instead of the regulation 10 at the Greta City Games in Manchester.

Ennis described Sunday's error as a "massive, massive mess-up."

The British heptathlon competitor clocked 12.75 into a headwind to beat Olympic champion Dawn Harper and world silver medalist Danielle Carruthers.

In a statement, organizers said," We would like to apologize for this unacceptable incident."

They blamed UK Athletics, who are employed "to manage this vital element of the event on our behalf, and we will of course be investigating this unfortunate occurrence with them."

Sounds like a job for Bond— James Bond.  Or at least The Count from "Sesame Street."

With the London Games ready to kick off this summer, it looks like the UK Athletics committee better start brushing up on their arithmetic.

The 26-year old Ennis was a silver medalist at last year's World Championships and has been called the face of the London Games.  While the heptathlon is her specialty, she has flirted with thoughts about doubling up both events for the Olympics.

"I would love to do the hurdles," she said.  "But they are too close [to the trials].  I want to stay focused on the heptathlon."

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