Irish athlete wins appeal at European Athletics Indoor Championships

John Travers will race in the men's 1500 metre final

Irish athlete wins appeal at European Athletics Indoor Championships

©INPHO/Sasa Pahic Szabo

Ireland's John Travers has won an appeal to progress to the men’s 1500 metres final, after there was confusion over whether a recall gun went off in Travers' semi-final.

Reports from Belgrade claim that the gun did go off, which would indicate that there was a false start. The sound caused confusion among the athletes, but particularly Travers and a Spanish athlete who slowed their pace considerably.

Meanwhile, the other athletes continued with the race and built a substantial lead on the Irish runner. Travers told the Irish Examiner that judges were trying to call the other athletes back for a restart.

"We were about 40 metres in when a big loud bang went off from a second gun, so it seemed they definitely were calling us back for something, but the five lads ahead of us seemed to have a mission to keep going so myself and the Spaniard got sixty metres behind them and came to a jog and a stop."

Irish team manager Patsy McGonagle immediately launched an appeal and a favourable outcome was reached several hours later. 

A European Athletics statement read:

"According to rule 146.3, the referee of the event decided to refer the matter that arose during the race to the Jury of Appeal.

"The Jury of Appeal has examined all evidence and has come to the conclusion that a recall gun was fired by mistake.

"All athletes were confused but only two, namely Marc Alcala (ESP – bib number 68) and John Travers (IRL – bib number 172) were significantly affected by the incident as all others continued to race.

"Therefore, the Jury of Appeal has decided to advance them to the next round."

The final is due to take place at 7.20pm Irish time.