Tokyo Olympics: Britain’s Reece Prescod disqualified from men’s 100m semi-finals after false start

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Reece Prescod walks away after his exit (Reuters)
Reece Prescod walks away after his exit (Reuters)

Britain’s Reece Prescod was disqualified from the men’s Olympic 100m semi-finals after a false start in a race which finished as chaotically as it started when two runners pulled up injured. In contrast, Prescod’s teammate Zharnel Hughes put in a season’s best performance to win the second semi-final in 9.98, beating the 100m favourite before the Games, USA’s Trayvon Bromell, who failed to qualify.

The best was saved for last as China’s Bingtian Su produced a stunning first 60m and clung on to win race three in 9.83, a personal best and national record. He dragged America’s Ronnie Baker to a personal best 9.83 in second place, while third and fourth – Italy’s Marcell Jacobs (9.84) and South Africa’s Akine Simbini (9.90) – qualified for the final as the two next fastest finishers.

Going in the first of three races to qualify for the final, Prescod, in lane three, clearly jumped out of the blocks too early and was issued with a red card, signalling his fate. It is a devastating blow for the 25-year-old sprinter, who had set his sights on the final in Tokyo.

“To be honest its just my fault, I’m not going to shy away from it, not going to blame anything, or make an excuse for it,” Prescod said. “I’m a professional athlete. I shouldn’t have false started – I was amped up, I was really, really amped up. Mentally I think even I didn’t realise there was a lot going on thinking on yesterday’s race. It happens, but it’s the Olympics but obviously now I’ve got to stay mentally strong, and focus on if I can bring my chance, my efforts to the relay – that’s going to be fun.

“If not then objectively I still have to run this season, I’ve got to compete, so I’m not going to sit here and be devastated and cry – not going to be sad. Obviously I know what the rules are, I got a bit amped up, I false started and that’s it really.”

America’s Kerley Fred won the race in 9.96 sec ahead of Canada’s Andre de Grasse in 9.98, as both qualified automatically for the final. South Africa’s Gif Leotlela finished fourth before crumpling to the floor with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, as did Nigeria’s Usheoritse Itsekiri.

Hughes was the surprise winner of a competitive race three, with the powerful Nigerian 20-year-old Enoch Adegoke coming second in 10.00, edging out Bromell in a photo finish. Bromell looked sluggish in the heats and his time of 10.00 was not enough the reach the final.

Bingtian Su wins the third race to reach the final (Getty Images)
Bingtian Su wins the third race to reach the final (Getty Images)

Men’s 100m final line-up (1.45pm BST)

Su Bingtian (CHN)

Ronnie Baker (USA)

Akani Simbine (RSA)

Marcell Jacobs (ITA)

Fred Kerley (USA)

Andre de Grasse (CAN)

Zharnel Hughes (GBR)

Enoch Adegoke (NGR)

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