The disqualification of Derara Hurisa

The 24 yr old Ethiopian runner, Derara Hurisa finished first in the 2021 Vienna Marathon in 2:09:22 on September 12th. He finished 3 seconds ahead of Leonard Langat of Kenya who ran 2:09:25.

As required by the World Athletics regulations, Hurisa registered his running shoes prior to the race and they had met the regulations. For the race, he either deliberately or accidentally wore a different shoe, the Adidas Adizero Prime X which does not meet the regulations. The Prime X had a stack height that was 10mm thicker than the rules permit. Langat was wearing the Adizero Adios Pro 2 model running shoe.

Adidas Adizero Prime X

Adidas Adizero Prime X

About an hour after the race had finished, the Vienna Marathon race officials put out a tweet that Hurisa was “disqualified for wearing shoes which are not compliant with the rules.”

Reuters reported:

Race co-ordinator Hannes Langer said: “We also stressed in the technical meeting the rules about the shoes. Unfortunately, we had no other choice than disqualifying the athlete.
“It’s the first time something like this has happened. I’m pretty sure that from now on there will be some form of checks to avoid something like this to happen again in a major race.”

The first place was awarded to Langat. There has been no public comment from Hurisa or Adidas about what happened.

This was the first recorded case of an athlete being disqualified for using running shoes that failed to meet the requirements of the World Athletics regulations.


  • Some online speculation without any evidence is that this was possibly a deliberate publicity stunt by Adidas. However, Hurisa was reportedly quite surprised and distraught when he was disqualified.
  • There is debate if the extra stack height of the shoe provided any benefit or not.

Related Topics:
Regulations for Running Shoes | Adidas Adizero Prime X | Carbon Fibre Plates | Stack height

Page last updated: @ 6:07 am

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