Bahamian Shaunae Miller dived, seemingly deliberately, across the line to beat American Allyson Felix and win the Olympic gold in the women’s 400m sprint last night.
Felix was clearly leading but Miller dived, head first, almost parallel to the ground, to beat Felix across the line.
It turns out that this stunt is, in fact, legal, although very rarely done. Will this be the move of the future with every runner involved in a close finish trying to dive in front of the other to get in front?
Even though this is legal, it doesn’t seem fair if done deliberately, and how would you ever tell whether it is deliberate or not? Clearly, the rule stating that the torso crossing the line gives the win needs adjusting, perhaps the measure should be the head? There are lots of ways to take advantage of the rules in any sport, but surely, the idea of running a race is to complete the race running, not plunging horizontally across the line. However, on this result the die is cast.