When premature sporting celebrations proved costly

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Bath’s Freddie Burns’ premature celebrations cost them the game and possibly qualification in the Champions’ Cup on Saturday.

Crossing the touchline, he waved to the fans and sent a kiss to his wife, before he’d touched the ball onto the ground. Under pressure from Toulouse player Maxime Medard, the ball was knocked out of his hands.

Press Association Sport takes a look at other occasions when athletes have celebrated a little too early.

Lonah Salpeter, women’s 5,000m final, European Championships 2018, Berlin

Salpeter was in second place, and began to sprint approaching the finish line just as the bell rang to signify the last lap had just started.

The 29-year-old Israeli runner then slowed down and smiled before she realised her mistake.

Her competitors ran past her and left her with too much to do to secure a medal, as she finished fourth a lap later, collapsed and burst into tears.

Roger Loughran, 2005 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase, Leopardstown

RACING Leopardstown
Roger Loughran on Central House before his judgement error (Julien Behal/PA)

The then 25-year-old apparently mistook a bush for the the ‘lollipop’ marking the finishing line and began to salute the crowd with his whip.

Loughran eventually finished third as Andrew McNamara and AP McCoy rode past him to the real finish line.

Juan Manuel Leguizamon – London Irish v Wasps, Premiership March 2007

London Irish's Juan Leguizamon tackled in a Premiership tie
London Irish’s Juan Leguizamon tackled in a Premiership tie (Chris Young/PA)

The Argentinian attempted a swan dive, and dropped the ball mid-way through his leap, before he fell to the ground with his head in his hands.

Fortunately for Leguizamon, London Irish went on to win the game, but he angered his coach Brian Smith with his attempted antics.

Lindsey Jacobellis, Snowboard Cross Final, Winter Olympics, Turin 2006

In the gold medal race at the Winter Olympics, Jacobellis was leading by a long way when on the final jump she fell attempting an unnecessary grab.

The then 20-year-old had looked over her shoulder a number of times before attempting the move and, after her fall, was overtaken by Tanja Frieden of Switzerland.

Although Jacobellis competed at the next three Winter Olympics, she has not won the gold and narrowly missed out on a medal in 2018, despite having 10 X Games titles to her name.

Valentin Prades, Modern Pentathlon 2018 World Championships, Mexico City

Jamie Cooke in the Modern Pentathlon at the Rio Olympics
Jamie Cooke in the Modern Pentathlon at the Rio Olympics (David Davies/PA)

Cooke was in third place when he changed his pace, overtook Prades and came first by just 0.03 seconds.

He became Britain’s first modern pentathlon world champion for 25 years when he overtook the French athlete just before the line.

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