The luck was with Catriona Bisset and Peter Bol in Eugene, as the Australian pair both advanced in their 800 metres events amid drama at the world athletics championships.
- Bisset fell in the final lap of her 800m heat
- She was promoted to the semi-finals by event officials
- Bol reached the men’s final as a non-automatic qualifier
After being pushed to the track in her women’s 800m heat, Australian record holder Bisset won a reprieve and was added to the semi-final field by the race jury.
In the men’s semi-finals, Bol was all but certain he had missed a spot in the final after running third in the first of three races, with only the top two gaining automatic spots in the final.
But the other two semi-finals were not any quicker, allowing the Australian to sneak into the final in eighth spot overall with a time of one minute and 45.58 seconds.
Bol now gets the chance to improve on his fourth-placed finish at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Bisset was in third spot and seemingly well placed to gain one of the three automatic qualifying places in the women’s two-lap event when the incident occurred on the final bend at Hayward Field.
Bisset appeared to step straight into the path of Slovenian runner Anita Horvat, who had little choice but to raise her arm, causing the Australian to crash to the track.
The 30-year-old eventually picked herself and crossed the line in last place before leaving the arena in tears, with Keely Hodgkinson winning the heat.
The race jury viewed replays of the incident and quickly added Italian Elena Bello to the field for the semi-finals after determining she had been the runner most adversely affected by the incident.
After further deliberation, Bisset was also promoted to the semis by the jury, just as Australian officials were about to lodge an appeal.
Fellow Australians Tess Kirsopp-Cole and 17-year-old Claudia Hollingsworth were both eliminated in the opening round.
Bisset was run out in the 800m heats at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.