Great Britain disqualified from 4x400m relay after naming shot putter in squad by mistake


Great Britain were disqualified from the 4x400m relay at the European Athletics Team Championships after accidentally naming shot putter Youcef Zatat in their squad.

Zatat, 25, had not even made the trip to Poland but was mistakenly picked to run the first leg of the race over recognised sprinter Rabah Yousif, 32.

Yousif was in Great Britain’s line-up that won gold at the 2014 Championships and was expected to lead off Ethan Brown, Lee Thompson and Martyn Rooney at the Zawisza Stadium in Bydgoszcz.

Team officials confirmed on Sunday evening that they will look into how the mistake was made.

Performance director Neil Black blamed a ‘technical error’ for the mix-up and claimed the athletes took their punishment ‘on the chin’.

‘It is gutting for the athletes involved. There was an error with the declaration process and we are exploring exactly what happened,’ Black said.

‘We’ll be reviewing with those involved in detail over the next day or so. The athletes were amazing. They were informed and took it on the chin.

‘It is the worst way to finish the event and we apologise to those who were looking forward to seeing the GB men’s 4x400m team doing battle as we know they would have competed with excellence.’

Italy went on to win the relay with Davide Re – who had earlier won the individual 400m – anchoring them home in a close victory over France. Host nation Poland came away with the bronze medal

The embarrassing gaffe meant Italy (316 points) beat Great Britain (302.5 points) to fourth place at the Championships, with 12 points awarded to the winner of every event.

Poland secured the title on home soil with a points tally of 345.


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