What happened if an athlete stumbles in a 100m event and trips the athlete in the adjacent lane too?

Are both of them disqualified or what?

  • 3
    Why do you think they'd be disqualified? It's not like falling over is going to help them finish faster...
    – Nij
    Aug 13, 2016 at 10:53
  • 1
    Then what does happen when such a situation arises? Aug 13, 2016 at 10:58
  • 1
    @Nij "Running" outside your lane is pretty much automatic disqualification in any sprint event; doesn't matter if is while you're actually running, falling over or anything else - it's the potential impact on other competitors that matters.
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 13, 2016 at 11:02
  • 1
    Being outside the lane, sure. But simply tripping or just being tripped by someone else, that's a big disjunction.
    – Nij
    Aug 13, 2016 at 11:43
  • 1
    Tripping or getting tripped would happen when an athlete is out of the lane.The person who falls and if he/she is out of their respective track,he/she would be disqualified.But the one who is affected by this in the other lane would not be disqualified as it wasn't his/her fault. Aug 13, 2016 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


According to IAAF competition rules art 163:

Lane Infringement

  1. (a) in all races run in lanes, each athlete shall keep within his allocated lane from start to finish. this shall also apply to any portion of a race run in lanes.

(b) in all races (or any part of races) not run in lanes, an athlete running on a bend, on the outer half of the track as per Rule 162.10, or on any curved part of the diversion from the track for the steeplechase water jump, shall not step or run on or inside the kerb or line marking the applicable border (the inside of the track, the outer half of the track, or any curved part of the diversion from the track for the steeplechase water jump).

  1. An athlete shall not be disqualified if he (a) is pushed or forced by another person to step or run outside his lane or on or inside the kerb or line marking the applicable border

So the runner who goes out of his lane will be disqualified, while the impeded runner will not be disqualified.

The impeded runner will probably ask for a re-race or for an automatic qualification and the committee will study the single case.

  • 1
    If a competitor was clearly wronged because of obstruction by another competitor (e.g. a runner is the lead by five meters in the last turn when he gets blindsided by a runner who's a lap behind), how would a re-race be handled so as to avoid unfair disadvantage to what would likely have been the second- and third-place finishers? How would things be affected if it was clear that the fouling was deliberate but it was unclear who if anyone ordered it?
    – supercat
    Aug 13, 2016 at 16:59
  • 2
    @supercat You're verging into "new question" territory here, but the answer depends enormously on the situation. If it's a heat, the organisers may give a extra place in the next round. A final is more difficult. Anything involving deliberate foul play is definitely into the realms of "the competition jury decides".
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 13, 2016 at 20:12
  • @PhilipKendall is right - if reinstating the obstructed runner is a matter of advancing them to the next round, they will just be advanced if lanes are available. If there aren't lanes available, there needs to be a fair way of comparing their performance to the unobstructed competitors, which is where run-offs or re-races come in.
    – pjmorse
    Aug 29, 2016 at 18:06

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