An Italian athlete ended up last in his 400-meter race at the World Athletics U20 Championships 2022 after he was compelled to slow down and cover his genitals with his hand after he started the race without his underwear. Decathlete Alberto Nonino was performing well but suddenly during the 400-meter race, his penis popped out of his shorts.
While the entire stadium and audience on television watched the embarrassing moment, Nonino ended up losing the race because of this awkward wardrobe malfunction. The 18-year-old's problems down below were immediately cited as the reason for his slow-down even by journalists and commentators on live television.
Nonino was running the 400-metre race at the 2022 World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia when he experienced the mishap. The awkward wardrobe malfunction was primarily because of two reasons. First, Nonino entered the competition without underwear. Although there wasn't a problem initially, his penis ended up popping out of as the shorts he was wearing were too loose.
Nonino, in fact, got off to a strong start before passing two competitors in spectacular fashion on the final curve. However, he significantly slowed down in the final lap and was caught on camera adjusting something between his legs. It soon became clear that he was uncomfortable because the video of the race showed him glancing down to see if his shorts were still on.
He then realized that he had unintentionally exposed himself and had to use his hands to hide his crotch while still trying to stay in the race.
Nonino ran down the back straight and over the last two turns three more times, but the problem persisted despite his best attempts. However, his race was not yet done. He managed to impressively pass two of his competitors as he kept tucking his genitals back into shorts.
Meanwhile, the other runners started pulling away from him as he entered the final straight, though. Nonino slowed down, using his hands to cover his genitals from the audience as he desperately tried to keep his dignity while his mind was elsewhere.
The Italian dropped behind as the last meters were covered by the other seven runners, finishing last with a timing of 51.57 seconds. His 400-meter personal best time, according to World Athletics, is 51.12 seconds.
Strange Way to Lose
Nonino's embarrassment was more, as he not only lost but everyone by this time knew why he lost. It was immediately assumed that the 18-year-old's problems down below were the cause of his sluggishness.
Sports journalist David Sanchez de Castro left nothing to the imagination by revealing in a tweet alongside footage of Nonino's embarrassing moment: "World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia.
"Last series of the 400 meters decathlon. The Italian Alberto Nonino in lane five begins very well but crosses the finishing line last. He had his p**** out, literally."
He added in a follow-up explanation to followers who didn't immediately understand but later realized what he was trying to explain: "Perhaps I've explained myself poorly. His penis escaped out of the side of his shorts and he had to hold it because it wasn't allowing him to run properly which is normal when your dongle is swinging from side to side."
The Spanish-speaking press jumped to the conclusion that Nonino's sluggish 400-meter time of 51.57 seconds was caused by his decision to run without underwear.
After a video showing him reaching for his shorts as he slowed down went viral, the athlete seemed to acknowledge that his trouser issues were the cause of his underwhelming performance in social media posts.
"I just want to talk to you a little bit about the rumpus there's been on blogs and social media in general. I'm conscious it was obviously an accident and I'd like to tell you I'm aware of the reaction and you don't need to send me the links to the blogs out there," he wrote in an Instagram story.
"I'm trying to laugh about it now but immediately afterwards I felt terrible and I'm thankful to my friends and family for helping me get over what happened a few hours later."