It didn’t take viewers long to realise something was very wrong at the world athletics championships.

The men’s 3000m steeplechase on Tuesday morning narrowly avoided disaster when an overzealous cameraman wandered onto the track in the middle of the event.

He was seen standing in the middle of the track near the finish line looking for the money shot in one of the field events happening inside the Hayward Field athletics track in Eugene, Oregon.

You would hope the footage was worth it.

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The live TV broadcast showed the runners changing direction at the last second when the hulking cameraman suddenly appeared in front of them through the haze of the leading pack of runners.

There were fears the race could be completely derailed when he appeared on the first lap obliviously walking backwards directly into the path of the middle-distance runners.

The absurd scene was something some commentators had never witnessed before.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Aussie sport commentator Tim Rosen posted on Twitter.

Olympic champion Soufiane El-Bakkali of Morocco produced a tactical masterclass to storm to victory in the event — but it was all overshadowed by the cameraman’s moment of madness.

El-Bakkali took his time before surging into the lead with just under 200m to go with a lethal late kick powering him to gold in a time of 8min 25.13sec.

Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma — silver medallist behind El Bakkali at last year’s Tokyo Olympics — was second in 8:26.01.

His victory ended Kenya’s 15-year stranglehold over the men’s event, with that nation’s reigning world champion Conseslus Kipruto only managing bronze in 8:27.92.

“The pace was very slow today, my tactic did not work and that (cost) me the gold,” Girma told reporters. “I was trying to change the tactic but the pace limited me very much.”

All everyone was talking about after the race was the drama with the cameraman.

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