This is certainly one way to end a track race.
During a 5000-meter race at an IAAF Diamond League event in Lausanne, Switzerland, Ethiopian runners Yomif Kejelcha and Selemon Barega were well out in front of the pack as they rounded the final turn. Barega was in the lead with Kegelcha seemingly about to overtake him. As Kejelcha was about to move ahead, he seemed to trip over Barega’s leg and that’s when it got weird.
Instead of simply falling down, Kejelcha responded by grabbing Barega by the shorts in an apparent attempt to either keep his balance or take down Barega with him. Kejelcha fell to the ground anyway, while Barega was slowed significantly enough to allow Birhanu Balew, who must have been laughing all the way, to take the lead and the victory.
The aftermath of Yomif Kejelcha’s absurd move
As the dust cleared, Barega came in second with a time of 13:02.67, while Barew won with a time 13:01.09 and took the Diamond League lead. Meanwhile, Kejelcha slowly walked his way to an ignominious finish and was obviously disqualified.
Yomif Kejelcha just walked it in after getting tripped up with 150m to go and took down second place in the process 😳 pic.twitter.com/prGdnIOMR9
— Jacob Pickle (@_jacobpickle) July 5, 2018
Barega was less than happy after the race, confronting Kejelcha after the race and grabbing his jersey seemingly to demonstrate to officials what happened.
— LetsRun.com (@letsrundotcom) July 5, 2018
Both runners are Olympics contenders
The amazing part in all this is that both of these racers aren’t nobodies; the pair finished first and second in the 3000-meter race during the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. With the U.S.-based Kejelcha at only 20 years old and Barega an even younger 18 years of age, both seem well positioned to make it to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.
If that happens, they’ll certainly have at least one story to discuss.
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