Why Was Anna Cockrell Disqualified From 400m Hurdles Final at Tokyo Olympics?

Anna Cockrell was disqualified from the women's 400m hurdles Olympic final after running into the wrong lane, it has been confirmed.

Cockrell, who was competing in her first Olympics at Tokyo, appeared to finish seventh in the race in which Team USA's Sydney McLaughlin won gold after setting a new world record time at 51.46 seconds.

Dalilah Muhammad, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion, took silver with a time of 51.58, while Femke Bol of the Netherlands bagged the bronze.

There was some confusion as to why Cockrell was disqualified from the race as there was no formal announcement and there didn't appear to be a clear violation.

It has now been confirmed that Cockrell stepped out of her lane during the race.

The official race listings on the Tokyo Olympics website said that the athlete had broken Technical Rule 17.3.1 a lane infringement which states that "each athlete shall keep within their allocated lane from start to finish."

In an Instagram post discussing her disappointment, Cockrell said: "Three things I am grateful for, in order: 1) I am alive. 2) My family and friends are the most amazing support system I could ask for. 3) I'm an Olympic finalist.

"Obviously this wasn't the result I was hoping for. Though I'm disappointed, my head remains high. I know I made my family, my city, and the 2019 version of me that had stopped believing in happiness proud.

"I told y'all after 2019 NCAAs that I'd be back. Saying the same thing now. STILL fighting."

Cockrell qualified for the final after finishing in second place in the second women's 400-meter hurdles semifinal Monday with a time of 54.17.

The 23-year-old previously revealed she has suffered with depression and had considered quitting the sport.

"I'm really emotional. I just worked really hard for this. In 2019, I was super depressed. I didn't want to be here anymore, so to be standing here today as an Olympian is more than I can take," she said in a post-race speech after qualifying for the Games in the U.S. Track & Field Trials in June, via The News and Observer.

Her brother is Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ross Cockrell. The NFL team tweeted a video showing Ross Cockrell and his other teammates cheering on as the 23-year-old qualified for the final.

"Being able to watch my sister run with this team, this family, it was just amazing," Ross Cockrell told ESPN. "It was the biggest race of her life and to see her go out there and perform as well as she did, in adverse weather, in adverse situations, and then go out to practice and be able to do my thing, I was just feeling the magic she had."

Anna Cockrell disqualified
Anna Cockrell of Team United States prepares to compete in round one of the Women's 400m hurdles heats on day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 02, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images