The 115th edition of the Millrose Games was an astonishing competition - three American records, one NCAA record, and a ton of great races, the two hour NBC presentation filled with good commentary and lots of excitement.
Ajee Wilson was victorious...again, taking the 600 meter title with a great 1:24.85, Chase Easely won the shot with a fine toss of 20.03 meters (65'8.75"), and Devynne Charlton won the 60H for the second week in a row with an impressive 7.91.
For all the tremendous performances, one event which stood out for me was the men's 60m dash...but not for the reason you might think. It was promoted as the matchup between Noah Lyles, the Olympic 200m champion, and Christian Coleman, the world record holder in the short sprint with a time of 6.34. A unique opportunity to see who is the best in the 60m.
After the starter said "Set" it was clear Lyles jerked before the gun was fired, international rules requiring disqualification. Fans jeered as officials huddled, deciding how to handle this challenging situation. And you know what? For once they made the correct decision.
They let Noah Lyles run.
Even though the restart was under protest, and Lyles would not be able to win, fans were happy, thrilled they finally got to see one of the most exciting races of the meet - protocol be damned. Hip hip hooray!
I'm not advocating this be done in the Olympics or World Championships, but as long as the fans get what they came for and the prize money is not distributed to this individual - what's the problem?
Win - win?
And do you suppose false starts should be eliminated in some events - most notably any race of 3000m or longer? That it makes more sense for the starter to call them back and restart the race rather than give a DQ. And maybe even the 1500/mile should be included in this group.
After all, do any of us really believe a lack of balance or an aggressive lean at the starting line is going to change the outcome of the race so long? Give them a break. I've seen athletes DQ'ed in a 5000 many times, one in the 3000m steeplechase, and I'm certain far too many in the 1500/mile.
This is a rule that needs to be rewritten, to give klutzy distance runners a break, and give starters the option of keeping a hyped media star in the race. I'm all for it!