Is It Cheating To Dive Over The Finish Line?

​Bahamas sprinter Shaunae Miller has caused controversy by diving over the finish line to secure gold

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When you competed in Sports Day as a kid, did you ever hold onto the egg with your thumb in the egg and spoon race? Or push your luck and start running before the whistle in the 800-metres?

Fortunately, your cheating habits might not have mattered much at school, but it does in the Olympics. 

On Monday, Bahamas sprinter Shaunae Miller won gold in the 400-metre final, beating Team USA's Allyson Felix on the finishing line.

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But, rather than a sprint-finish seeing Miller cross the line, it was a full-body dive and it's making a lot of people question whether the Olympic athlete cheated her way to the medal podium.

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However, according to the experts, diving over the finish line doesn't technically count as cheating.

According to NBC Sports:

'The first athlete whose torso (as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, legs, hands or feet) reaches the vertical plane of the closest edge of the finish line is the winner.'

So, while you might not expect to see Usain Bolt or Dina Asher-Smith flying over the finish line, they would be permitted to do so, as long as their torso is ahead of their competitor at the finish line.

With many sporting fans now questioning the legitimacy of Miller's win, several athletes have come to her defence:

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Besides, we doubt the dive was part of her training strategy ('Forget the legs, just jump').

Following the race, Miller said: 'I don't know what happened. My mind just went blank. The only thing I was thinking (about) was the gold medal, and the next thing I know, I was on the ground.'

Of course, her controversial win has sparked numerous memes on Twitter:

Perhaps Miller should think about switching the race track for the the diving board next time?

Do you think she Shaunae deserved to win? Let us know at @ELLEUK

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