Battling Baala bemoans bad luck

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Battling Baala bemoans bad luck


France’s Mehdi Baala, who slugged it out on the track with a teammate in Monaco last month, is starting to think he is cursed after falling in the 1,500-metre heats at the World Championships yesterday.

Olympic bronze medalist Baala made headlines when he traded blows with Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad in an extraordinary incident at the finish line at a Diamond League meeting after they both trailed home as backmarkers in the 1,500 meters on July 22.

Yesterday, the 33-year-old 2003 world silver medalist was looking good for a place in the semifinals from the second heat but tripped on the kerb and fell over when coming into the home straight.

“This is really bad luck because things were running well for me in the race, the race was not too fast - just like I like it,” he said.

“I have the impression that I am really attracting and collecting trouble these days. First the fight, then I got a small injury in training two days ago and today I fall and do not finish my race.”

The French team later lodged an official protest that their athlete had been jostled, hoping that he would be reinstated for the semifinals.

“Another athlete touched me but I do not know who it was,” said Baala.

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