England sprinter Zharnel Hughes says he “didn’t really” impede Jereem Richards in the Commonwealth Games 200m final, from which he was disqualified.
Hughes’ left arm made contact with Richards in the closing stages, and he was penalised after initially being declared the gold-medal winner.
“I would never try to impede another athlete,” said Hughes, 22.
“It was a bit of a nightmare hearing that I had been disqualified for something I didn’t really do.”
Hughes had a clear lead in Thursday’s final and looked to be heading for his first major individual gold medal.
But he stumbled on the home straight and his arm came into contact with the chest and face of Richards, who was in the next lane.
Hughes and Richards, of Trinidad & Tobago, were both given a time of 20.12 seconds, but Hughes was announced as the winner and was on a lap of honour when he was disqualified.
Richards was subsequently promoted to gold-medal position.
“I wouldn’t say it was unfair, it is just the officials’ opinion,” said Hughes, who formerly competed for Anguilla.
“I have to accept it. I found out when I was coming back along the home straight – my team told me. It was a bit heartbreaking.”
Hughes is also part of England’s team in the men’s 4x100m relay, and helped them qualify for Saturday’s final.
“It makes me very hungry,” he said. “The guys have been very supportive. I am giving my best for them, to be the best of my ability to help us win a medal.
“It would be very special to win a medal but nothing is certain; we have to go out and execute it.”