The sporting world couldn’t believe its eyes when a hurdler was disqualified from his final at the world athletics championships for false starting by just one thousandth of a second.

American Devon Allen had appeared to make a good start out of the blocks in the men’s 110m hurdles final in Eugene, Oregon on Monday (AEST).

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But just as the competitors were about to reach the first hurdle, the starter fired their gun again to call them back.

The timing technology showed Allen had false started by 0.009sec. Allen couldn’t believe it and argued with the marshals he should be allowed to run the race.

But he was eventually shown a red disqualification card and was escorted from the same track where he starred as a college athlete.

Allen recently signed with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles as a wide receiver and the disqualification was a heartbreaking way for his athletics career to end.

“It is impossible to tell,” the stunned commentator said on the broadcast on Kayo.

“That is so marginal. It would have been impossible to tell with the naked eye.

“This should be the perfect send off for his career to the Philadelphia Eagles. Allen can’t believe it.”

Athletics fans slammed the decision to disqualify Allen and said it was proof the threshold for a false start should be raised to 0.1sec.

CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy tweeted: “0.001 seconds to be DQd from a World Championships final. Wow.”

NBC Sports’ Nick Zaccardi said: “Another time to question if one tenth of a second should be deemed the cut-off for false start DQs.

“Especially when .108 and .109 were legal reaction times from Shane Brathwaite and Trey Cunningham. That’s really close to .100. How can one be so sure that nobody can react to a gun faster than .100?”

Australian sports broadcaster Quentin Hull added: “Undetectable to the naked eye. The kind of moment that alienates track fans.”

The race was eventually won by America’s Grant Holloway, ahead of his countryman Trey Cunningham (13.03) and Spain’s Asier Martinez (13.17).

In other events, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her record fifth world 100m title, leading an unprecedented Jamaican cleansweep of the podium.

It was the first time a nation had swept the medals in the women’s 100m at the worlds and came just a day after Fred Kerley led a US sweep of the men’s blue riband event.

Fraser-Pryce is also the first athlete to ever win five gold medals in a track event at the World Championships in the same discipline, following her 100m golds in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019.

Nina Kennedy won bronze in the women’s pole vault, clearing a height of 4.80m to claim Australia’s first medal of the world championships.

With AFP

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