Eagles hopeful Devon Allen disqualified from track world championships on controversial false start

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Sunday was supposed to be Devon Allen's time to shine. Instead, heartbreak on his home track ended his world championships by the slimmest of margins.

The Oregon graduate and Philadelphia Eagles hopeful lined up for the 110-meter hurdles final at the world track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon, with a shot at making the podium. He was disqualified thanks to a false start imperceptible to the human eye.

Runners aren't permitted to start within .1 second of the starting gun sounding. Allen was detected as reacting at 0.099, meaning he was disqualified by .001 second. A digital starting block — rather than a human judge — detected the infraction.

When informed of his disqualification, he pleaded his case with multiple race officials. He wasn't permitted to run the race under protest. Boos from the Oregon crowd rained down on Hayward Field.

Instead of the originally slated eight finalists, the race eventually started with six runners. Reigning Olympic champion Hansle Parchment of Jamaica suffered a leg injury in warmups and also didn't compete.

American and defending world champion Grant Holloway won the race at 13.03 seconds. Fellow American Trey Cunningham finished in second (13.08 seconds), while Spain's Asier Martinez finished in third. (13.17).

EUGENE, OREGON - JULY 17: Devon Allen of Team United States speaks to reporters after being disqualified from the Men's 110m Hurdles Final on day three of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at Hayward Field on July 17, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Devon Allen speaks with reporters after being disqualified from the men's 110-meter hurdles final. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Allen entered Sunday having run the fastest time of the year and the third-fastest time ever with a 12.84-second finish at the New York Grand Prix in June. He's a two-time Olympian with a fifth-place finish in Rio in 2016 and a fourth-place effort in Tokyo in 2021.

While his track season ends in disappointment, he'll shift gears to his next challenge at Eagles training camp starting on July 26, where he hopes to make the roster as a 27-year-old rookie. In addition to running track, Allen played wide receiver at Oregon from 2014-16. He wasn't an elite player, tallying 54 catches for 919 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons. But the Eagles were impressed when he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at Oregon's pro day and signed him to a deal.

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