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GERRARD FLAG SAGA

Tale of the tape

Gerrard vest saga

So sorry: The was an apology from the Games Federation hierarchy after Keith Gerrard was forced to mask out the three legs emblem on his vest

In a bizarre pre-5000m race decision athletic officials had the three legs emblem on the back of Keith Gerrard’s race vest (1628) tapped over, apparently concerned that it was too large.

The taping was pinpointed by BBC TV commentators.

As a consequence, social media websites had a field day, with many contributors demanding an apology from those responsible for the decision.

Some used images of the Canadian cyclists wearing an even more prominent maple leaf on their race clothing and others the silver fern on the vests and jerseys of the New Zealanders to make their point.

An apology duly arrived from the European regional vice-president of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

It later emerged that 400m runner Harriet Pryke also suffered the same indignity earlier in the athletics programme.

Keith said: ‘Basically, the official mistakenly taped up my Manx national emblem on my racing vest right as I was entering the track to compete. He obviously thought the huge Three Legs of Man symbol was a sponsorship logo or a brand (which you are not allowed to display on your uniform if over a certain size).

‘He absolutely plastered me in silver duct tape and sent me out to race! I was so “zoned out” and so nervous that I didn’t think to protest. The mistake was clocked by the TV commentators and a big fuss was made both on television and back home in the IoM. The hard core Manxies were all really peeved off the Manx emblem was covered up.’

The IoM Athletics Association website commented: ‘As far as we are aware, at present the kit meets all rules and requirements regarding shape, size, position and type of logos.

‘The kit was designed some nine months ago by Kukri who have also produced the England kit and that of other nations.

‘The kit passed preliminary checks in Glasgow and it seems that some then passed the final check in the call room, e.g. high-jumper Reagan Dee’s crop top, while others, Harriet Pryke’s crop top and Keith Gerrard’s vest, did not pass scrutiny and had the three legs emblem taped over.’

European regional vice-president Chris Jenkins released a statement to the CGAIoM stating: ‘I am very sorry about the taping up of the Isle of Man’s national symbol on Keith Gerrard’s vest.

‘I fully understand the depth of feeling and can assure you that no slight or insult was intended. I can only apologise again and measures have been put in place to ensure this does not happen again.’

The statement added that John Eades, the CGF’s operations director, was investigating further and that the CGAIoM could expect a full report in due course.

Apparently we are still waiting for word from Eades.