Drama has erupted at an indoor athletics meet in Ireland after a runner’s controversial act ended his rival’s race.
The stunning scenes unfolded when Olympian Thomas Barr was sent sprawling off the track by Andrew Mellon in the 400m final at the Irish Life National Indoor Championships.
Unlike the outdoor version of the race, runners aren’t required to stay in their lanes during the 400m indoor event.
That fact created chaos as both men approached the start/finish line and Barr veered into the path of his rival.
Mellon reacted to the encroachment by elbowing his competitor out of way – knocking Barr off to the side of the track and out of contention.
Viewers slammed Mellon for the “disgraceful” act but the runner defended his actions on social media.
Shocking behaviour in a race at this level
— Cáitín (@CaitVerling) February 17, 2019
Disgraceful behavior by A Mellon with kids watching, how he was not DQ is beyond everyone here
— Ratoath AC (@RatoathAC) February 17, 2019
— Cameron Chalmers (@CamChalmers400) February 17, 2019
— Andrew Mellon (@MellonAndrew) February 17, 2019
Dispute the incident ending any hopes Barr had in the race, the runner reacted to the disappointment in classy fashion.
In his own response on social media, Barr suggested that he was just as much in the wrong as Mellon.
Not how I’d anticipated it would go today, but thats the excitement of 400m indoor running 😈🤷🏻♂️. When a stiff breeze could knock me it serves as a good lesson to stay out of trouble at the break come Glasgow in two weeks! Body is 100%. Today is parked. Onwards. https://t.co/NAfEduUquU
— Thomas Barr (@TomBarr247) February 17, 2019