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Controversial rerun knocks Cal alum Milan Ristic out of Rio 2016 110m hurdles semifinal

Jamaican hurdler Deuce Carter took Milan Ristic’s spot in the semifinal after an unprecedented 2nd chance.

Olympics: Track and Field-Evening Session
Milan Ristic is unfortunately the victim of a controversial IAAF decision.
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that’s rather unfortunate.

Just when it looked like Cal Track and Field alum Milan Ristic of Serbia has booked the last spot in the 110m hurdles scheduled for tonight, a controversial rerun allowed Jamaican hurdler Deuce Carter to knock Ristic out of the last spot.

On Monday night, Ristic ran in the last heat and posted a time of 13.66. While the top 4 from each of the 5 heats advance to the semifinal regardless of the time, the next 4 best times will also get a semifinal berth. Milan Ristic seemingly earned the last of those spot with his time.

However, 30 minutes after that race, IAAF gave an unprecedented rerun for the runners of the first two heats who have missed out on the semifinals. Their reason for the rerun, the track condition was deemed too wet and gave the later hurdlers who ran after the 20 minute rain delay an unfair advantage.

More from the Yahoo! article on the rerun,

One of Carter’s coaches filed a protest immediately after the final heat on the grounds that the hurdlers in the two rain-soaked heats deserved a level playing field. The IAAF considered the protest and came up with a creative yet controversial solution.

At about 10 p.m. Monday night, the IAAF announced that the hurdlers who finished outside the top four in heats 1 and 2 would be given the opportunity to run again at 11:15 p.m. If someone ran faster than one of the four hurdlers who had previously qualified on time, he would claim a semifinal spot.

“I was surprised and excited,” Carter said. “When I came back to warm up again, I was looking at my phone. Everyone in my mentions was saying they have to do a redo for that race.”

Carter had been by far the most high-profile casualty of the two waterlogged heats. The 25-year-old’s season-best time of 13.20 seconds is the eighth fastest among the 45 hurdlers in the field, making Carter a serious threat to make the final and a dark-horse medal hopeful.

Awarded a rare opportunity at a redo on an international stage, Carter took full advantage. He blew away the second-chance field in 13.50 seconds, comfortably fast enough to bump Serbia’s Milan Ristic out of the semifinals.

Calympian Milan Ristic, in his first Olympics, became the victim of the impromptu rule change by IAFF. The Serbians, understandably, filed their own protest.

But the decision of Carter replacing Ristic is final.

What a bummer of a way to have one’s first Olympic games end this way. Even if Ristic was a long shot to advance to the final (top 3 from each semifinal will advance to the final), to go from thinking that you have made the semifinal to lose that berth due to an unprecedented 2nd chances for other competitors is tough.

Hopefully, this whole ordeal does not mar the entire Olympic games experience for Milan Ristic, who got to celebrate his 25th birthday just a week ago in Rio.

There is no truth to the rumor that Mack Brown lobbied the IAAF on behalf of Deuce Carter for this rule change.