The shot putter accidentally named in Great Britain’s men’s 4x400m relay team at the European Athletics Team Championships has joked he would have „10000000%” competed if he had been there.
The British team were disqualified from the event in Bydgoszcz in Poland after a „technical error” was blamed for Youcef Zatat being named rather then sprinter Rabah Yousif.
Zatat reacted to the situation with humour when he became aware of what happened. He wrote on Twitter: „For those asking, 10000000% sure I would have run.”
The incident became mainstream news in Britain, and when it was point out to Zatat that his mother would be proud of him, he said: „Yeah. Doesnt have to know the actual reason.”
UK Athletics performance director Neil Black told www.britishathletics.org.uk: „It is gutting for the athletes involved.
„There was an error with the declaration process and we are exploring exactly what happened.
„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.”
Zalat added he felt bad for the sprinters who had missed out on competing.
„As funny as this has been for me I feel for the guys who went all that way to not run – especially those making senior debuts,” he added.
Britain finished fifth overall with a total of 302.5 points.
Italy won the 4x400m race and finished fourth in the overall standings with 316 points.
Twelve points were available for each event’s winner, with 11 available for second place – meaning Britainwould still have finished fifth if they had won the 4x400m and Italy had come second.
Britain’s men won the silver medal in the 4x400m relay at the 2018 European Athletics Championships, and took bronze at the World Athletics Championships in 2017.
Updated: August 12, 2019 01:44 PM