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Tom Bosworth disqualified from 20km race walk at World Championships in London

By Alex Hoad

There was despair for Kent's Tom Bosworth in the 20km racewalk at the World Championships on the Mall on Sunday afternoon.

The 27-year-old Sevenoaks-born star finished 6th at the Rio Olympics last year and his hopes were high of a push for the podium in London.

Racewalkers are permitted two red cards from judges for technique infractions during a race but a third triggers a disqualification, and Bosworth fell foul of the rule midway through the race when leading the pack.

Tom Bosworth. Picture: Peter Milsom
Tom Bosworth. Picture: Peter Milsom

The Tonbridge AC star passed the midway point in 39mins 50secs - well on course for his personal best time of 1.20:13 - but as he sought to push the pace just moments later the judges decided his technique to keep one foot on the floor at all times using straight legs, had become illegal.

Bosworth was notified by the chief judge and immediately put his head in his hands and threw his trademark sunglasses to the floor in despair before crashing to his knees on the tarmac and bursting into tears.

He said: "I was feeling great and walking faster than I ever have done. But that's race walking, technique has to go with fitness. I mean there are positives to take from this because I was going at a high speed.

"It all seemed to be going fine until 12km, and I got two red cards on that lap. I knew I had one from earlier so I was just telling myself to concentrate. But I put in a burst and was pushing the boundaries but it was a real shock to get the third red card. I think that is why it is difficult to take because I wasn't feeling physically bad.

"I felt fit and strong enough to go with the leading pack. It is heart wrenching because you can't physically finish a race as you are pulled off the course.

"I haven't been disqualified for four and a half years so to do it here in London is devastating. But this has only made me hungrier for more. These bad days make the good days even sweeter."

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