Banned Adidas Running Shoes Disqualify Vienna Marathon Winner

The original winner of the Vienna Marathon on Sunday was disqualified for wearing sneakers that did not comply with race guidelines.

Race officials disqualified Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa just an hour after he crossed the finish line with a time of 2:09:22, three seconds ahead of the next participant. According to a tweet from the Vienna City Marathon, Hurisa “had to be disqualified for wearing shoes which are not compliant” with the marathon’s rules.

Marathon participants’ running shoes soles cannot be thicker than four centimeters, officials said on Twitter. Hurisa’s soles were of five centimeters thick. As such, officials named the next finisher, Leonard Langat of Kenya, the winner of the marathon with a time of 2:09:25.

As footwear companies produce innovative technologies to improve running performance, certain rules continue to guide what is allowed in competition. In January of 2020, track and field governing body World Athletics prohibited running shoe models with soles thicker than 4 centimeters or with more than one plate.

According to images and multiple reports, Hurisa was wearing the Adidas Adizero Prime X sneaker, which launched earlier this year as a part of Adidas’ Adizero performance running collection. The Adizero Prime X was specifically designed for long distance running.

In a statement to Footwear News, an Adidas spokesperson said the company would continue to support partner athletes wearing Adidas footwear that complies with guidance from World Athletics.

“Adizero Prime X is an innovative concept running shoe provided to our elite athletes for training purposes,” the spokesperson said. “It is designed without limitations to push the boundaries of current running technology and is consciously created outside of the World Athletics guidelines.”

Langat was wearing the Adizero Adios Pro 2, a sneaker worn by multiple record-breaking Adidas athletes.

“As part of our ambition to unleash the possibilities of human potential we will continue to evolve our elite offering by pushing the limits of race-day technology,” the Adidas spokesperson said.

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