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Sprinters nearly run over cameraman at World Athletics Championships

July 19 (UPI) -- A pack of sprinters nearly ran over a cameraman who wondered onto the track during an event at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Ore.

The near-collision occurred during the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase Monday at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

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The runners, who are tasked with avoiding obstacles during the event, rounded a turn and were on a straight stretch of the track when the cameraman stood in Lane 2, with his back to the field.

The 15-man pack was then forced to split as it reached the cameraman, who appeared to have no idea the runners were behind him. Luckily, they him and finished the race.

The cameraman was on the track so he could get a better angle of the women's triple jump final, which was held nearby.

Morrocco's Soufiane El Bakkali won the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of eight minutes, 25.13 seconds. Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma and Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto finished second and third, respectively.

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"I was a little worried that he [the cameraman] was going to dart one way or another, right at the last second, but thankfully he didn't realize we were there until we all passed him," American competitor Evan Jager, who finished sixth, told the New York Times.

The World Athletics Championships will run through July 24. The United States is hosting the outdoor event for the first time.

The men's 400-meter hurdles and men's 1,500-meter race each will be shown Tuesday on USA Network. Coverage will air from 11:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday through 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Event coverage also will stream from 8 to 11 p.m. Tuesday on Peacock.

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