Paralympic Games
06 - 17 September

IPC Statement - Women's 5000m T54 Event

Beijing, China - The result of the women’s 5000m T54 race at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games on 7 September was withdrawn and the Jury of Appeal has ordered the re-run of the race to be held on 12 September at 9:00. The re-run of the race was decided after a crash that led to only five out of the 11 competitors finishing the race and the injury of three athletes. The Jury of Appeal made the decision after some nations filed appeals and closely examining footage of the race. 08 Sep 2008

Three countries filed a protest, including Australia, USA and Switzerland. Australia submitted its protest on the basis of IAAF Rule 163 Paragraph 2 (Obstruction of an Athlete). The time of the protest was logged within the required 30 minutes after the announcement of the result. The Jury upheld the protest, having reviewed the available video pictures and consequently disqualified the athlete, Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland, responsible for the obstruction and ordered the race be re-run.

The following two protests from USA and Switzerland respectively, involving different incidents, were not further considered because the Jury had ruled on the first protest.

The Technical Delegate decided that the time of the re-run of the race was to be held on 12 September 2008 at 9:00.

Due to an unfortunate string of incidents that was a result of a miscommunication between the Technical Information Center (TIC) and the Ceremonies Department, the medal ceremony was held in spite of the appeal.

The Chairperson of the Jury explained the process to the coaches including those from Great Britain, USA and Canada who had been most affected by the mistake in presenting the medals. Throughout the process, the nations accepted the decision made by the Jury of Appeal.

The International Paralympic Committee acknowledges the error that has consequently been corrected and reinforced so that it does not happen again. The Jury of Appeal recognized that this decision affects some of the athletes but made the decision based on the large number of athletes involved in the incident and to ensure fair competition for all athletes.