Stanchart marathon mess was 'abnormal'

Stanchart marathon mess was 'abnormal'

SINGAPORE - It was a mess-up unlike anything anyone has seen in the history of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS).

Top runners wrongly denied podium finishes only to be reinstated two days later. Then the discovery that a timing glitch caused 3,782 runners to be either unfairly disqualified or given inaccurate timings.

After a week in which hundreds of runners took to social media to slam last Sunday's run and the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) called for "lessons to be learnt", race organisers Spectrum Worldwide have put their hands up for the fiasco.

"As organisers, ultimately, the buck stops with us," Spectrum managing director Chris Robb told The Sunday Times. "Our policy, always, is to be honest and if we've done something wrong, we put our hands up. We don't try to hide behind anything."

The problem in the timing system last Sunday affected almost 4,000 participants - or 7 per cent of the 54,000-strong field - in the annual race, Singapore's biggest running event.

Some high-profile errors included wrongly disqualifying runners Alex Ong and Derek Li, who finished second and sixth respectively in the Singapore men's category, before reinstating them days later.

By Mr Robb's own admission, a timing-related snag of this size is abnormal.

"I've been in the industry for 25 years, and I've never experienced anything like this in terms of a timing glitch of that magnitude," he said.

The margin of error is usually restricted to "a few hundred".

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