Olympic Runner Sparks Controversy after Winning the 400m Race by Diving at Finish Line

USA’s Allyson Felix had been leading the women’s 400m race beginning the second half – and was expected to win her fifth Olympic gold but her medal was ‘stolen’ at the last possible second by Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas who dove at the finish line and won by 0.07 seconds.

At first, everyone thought she tripped before reaching the finish line but close up shots and replays showed that she actually did it on purpose.

Felix time was 49.51 seconds but Miller got 49.44 seconds, thanks to her well-timed dive – but Miller’s win by shadowed by controversy as it did not sit well with social media users who believe that she cheated Felix of the gold medal by doing the trick dive.

Photo credit: Twitter/@jaycaspiankang
Photo credit: Twitter/@jaycaspiankang

Based on the rules, however, Miller’s win was quite valid because contrary to popular belief, the race is won by whoever had his/her torso above the finish line first, not his/her feet! In fact, the move had been risky because had she dove a second too early, she wouldn’t have reached the finish line and would have entirely lost the race to the other runners but her carefully timed dive earned her the gold medal, instead.

Still, thousands of netizens feel that despite the move being risky and valid, Miller still cheated Felix of her gold. Of course, there are also many who took her side in the issue, saying that her tactics were unusual but she won fair and square.


Photo credit: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters - NY Times
Photo credit: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters – NY Times

Hmmmmm. Does this mean we’ll be seeing more dives at the finish line in race events soon? We’ll see…