EXPLAINER: Was Devon Allen too fast for his own good?

by | Jul 18, 2022 | Sports

EUGENE, Ore. — Hurdler Devon Allen did not jump before the starting gun. He got disqualified for a false start anyway. That sent parts of the track and field world — and also the NFL world that he will be part of soon — into a frenzy. Allen’s DQ for a false start in the 110-meter hurdles came Sunday night and put a slight damper on an otherwise otherworldly performance by the United States at world championships in Eugene, Oregon. The Americans won nine medals — a record for one day. It could’ve been 10 had Allen been allowed to run the race. A rundown of what happened:Q: Did Allen really leave the starting blocks too early? A: Depends on the definition of early. The sensors in the starting blocks measure what’s called “reaction time,” which is the amount of time it takes for a runner’s foot to leave the block after the starting gun goes off. Obviously, if a runner leaves the starting block before the gun goes off, it’s an easy call. But there is also a rule that says it’s a false start if a runner leaves within 0.1 seconds AFTER the gun sounds — the idea being that nobody could possibly react that quickly to the gun.Q: What happened with Allen?A: His reaction time was measured at 0.099 seconds. That’s one-thousandth of a second too fast. He lingered nea …

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