Imagine being the holder of a world record and having it taken away from you by a technicality. How devastating would that be? Unfortunately for Callum Hawkins, he is aware of the feeling all too well, having had his record relinquished.
This unfortunate incident came about when racers in the event claimed that their meters gave a value that was different from what they were supposed to cover. According to their calibrations, the track was one hundred and forty-nine meters shorter than the expected trail, and because of that, the organizers had to act quickly and investigate the claims.
It got discovered that the route was actually one hundred and forty-nine meters shorter and because of the Callum’s record had to be disqualified from the list. Callum, aged twenty-four, had run the half marathon and completed the route within one hour and twenty-two seconds. The record had previously gotten held by Haile Gebrselassie. Unfortunately, the wins are no longer valid as the investigations did away with all times and ‘wins’ at the event.
Hawkins was not the only one to suffer the brunt of this investigation. Betsy Saina, the winner in the women’s half-marathon, also had to relinquish her win. Paul Elock stated that the abandoning of titles meant that he had to say goodbye to his best time and he was disappointed about it. The organizers felt terrible about the mistake, claiming that it was unfortunate that Callum would have to relinquish a title he deserved.
Many people were curious as to how the organizers could make such a mistake, an error that cost many contestants hours of hard work and pain. The organizers came out to defend themselves, pointing out that there had been an error while measuring the distance. They stated that a mistake had gotten made while measuring the distance at Bellahouston Park, thus leading to a disparity of fifty meters. The difference between measurements on closed roads and those on unclosed paths accounted for the rest of the variation.
Due to these discoveries which cost many winners a hard time in accepting the loss of their well-deserved victories, the organizers are making plans to ensure that nobody has to ever go through that kind of pain. Having taken responsibility for the mistakes, they are now putting in measures to prevent such incidences in the future.
We can only hope that the measures in place are sufficient to prevent another devastating outcome.