BIRMINGHAM, England — All five runners in a 400-meter heat were disqualified at the world indoor athletics championships on Friday.
Abdalelah Haroun, a Qatari who won bronze at the world championships last year, was first to leave after a false start. Bralon Taplin of Grenada, who ran the fastest time this year, then finished first in the heat but officials later disqualified him and Steven Gayle of Jamaica, Austris Karpinskis of Latvia, and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas for running out of their lanes.
The IAAF says it’s the first time in history that every runner in a world championship race has been disqualified.
Grenada appealed, saying Taplin was already on a straight line and therefore didn’t create an advantage but it was rejected by the jury of appeal, which reviewed video and noticed Taplin “stepped on the line in the curved part of the track.”
Haroun, who finished second at the last world indoors, didn’t appear too downcast about his disqualification.
“I don’t know quite what happened but it is OK,” he said. “I will have more chances.”
It is two less main rivals for Pavel Maslak to worry about in the Czech runner’s quest for a third successive world indoor title. Maslak finished second in his heat.
Elsewhere, Yorgelis Rodriguez of Cuba led the women’s pentathlon after three events.
Erica Bougard led after edging out United States teammate Kendell Williams by 0.01 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles but slipped to second, behind Katarina Johnson-Thompson after the British athlete cleared 1.91 metres in the high jump.
Johnson-Thompson tends to struggle in the shot put and even a personal best of 12.68 metres wasn’t enough to keep hold of top spot.
Rodriguez threw 14.15 on her third attempt to move 13 points ahead of Johnson-Thompson. Ivona Dadic of Austria was a point further back.
Bougard slipped to fourth ahead of the high jump and 800-meter race scheduled for later Friday.
France’s Kevin Mayer leads Damian Warner of Canada by 45 points after three of seven events in the heptathlon.