Alone under hurdles: decathlete Arthur Abele
Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa
Defending decathlon champion Arthur Abele created a special moment at the European Athletics Championships in Munich.
After a successful protest against his disqualification for false starts over 110m hurdles, the 36-year-old was allowed to return to the competition with a hurdles sprint solo.
Cheered on by more than 20,000 spectators, he crossed the finish line in 14.50 seconds, raised his arms like a winner and was celebrated like a hero.
"I'm ready and done.
My nerves are totally fucked up,« Abele stammered into the microphone on the tartan track of the Olympic Stadium.
After the starter's (incorrect) false start verdict, he shed many tears behind a billboard.
The early end would have been particularly bitter for Abele because he wants to end his 20-year career after the European Championship.
A review of his disqualification had found that he had made a normal starting move and not a false start move.
When the protest was decided in his favour, he had just finished the 42.38 meter discus throw, in which he had competed regardless of the jury's verdict.
Immediately after his hurdles, the veteran had to rush to pole vault.
Even without the excitement about the temporary end after the hurdle sprint, Abele would not have had a chance of a top placement in his last decathlon after many injuries in recent years.