An astonishing turn of events occurred during the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday, October 1. Jyothi Yarraji, representing India, faced disqualification due to a false start.
During the event’s final, Yarraji was instructed to leave Lane 5 as officials penalized her and China’s Wu Yanni for their premature starts. Yarraji, a prominent medal contender for India, expressed her frustration while pleading her case with the officials. Regrettably, although she was allowed to run, her timing would not be recorded for this particular event
Clearly expressing their discontent and disappointment, Yarraji and Wu Yanni returned to their starting positions and completed the race. Yanni secured the first-place position, followed by China’s Lin Yuwei and Jyothi Yarraji, who finished third.
Replays of the race start revealed that Yarraji had her hands touching the ground when the starting gun was fired, triggering a significant reaction from the Indian athletics community. Anju Bobby George, the leader of Indian athletics, disclosed that they immediately lodged a protest with Asian Games officials, expressing their concerns for Yarraji, who was visibly distressed by the incident. The medal standings remained uncertain for several minutes after the race’s conclusion, leaving Indians in suspense. The Asian Games later updated their list, confirming Yarraji’s promotion to the silver medal position following the disqualification of China’s Wu Yanni.
Anju Bobby George pointed out that the rules clearly stated that the first person leaving the ground should be disqualified, and she couldn’t comprehend why Jyothi was drawn into the controversy.