- London Marathon wheelchair crash leaves athletes raging at organisers
- Marathon competitors say their warnings were ignored
Despite an arrangement that organisers say has stood for years, Gelana seemed oblivious as she ran across the path of the racers going at 20mph, and into Josh Cassidy whose chair careered into the side of the drinks table, the Canadian slamming the table in anger and frustration.
To her credit, Gelana got to her feet and continued running but the damage had already been done and, as with Cassidy, the 25-year-old ultimately never recovered.
A furious Cassidy, who finished in 20th place, blasted the race organisers. "It's something I have mentioned before. I don't know who's responsible but every year we come to overtake the women, there's 10 chairs going at 20mph and the poor women are scrambling to find their feet."
"The safest thing would be to have the chairs start first because one of these years a woman is going to have a leg broken, a career ruined. It's just not worth having this programme if the races are going to suffer."
Cassidy later tweeted: "The wheelchairs MUST finally start first next year so this doesn't happen again, or worse. Was very frustrated as we have warned this was bound to happen.
"I feel sorry [for] Gelana and hope she was alright. Both of our races were ruined because of this set-up. Our 'representatives' have not been heard but this has to change. It could have ended a career."
Cassidy also corrected the BBC commentary which had focused mainly on Gelana's woes and failed to equally emphasise that the 28-year-old's race had also been ruined.
Yukiko Akaba, who finished the women's race in third place, was just behind the lead pack when the collision happened and had a clear view of the events. "It looked extremely dangerous to me, seeing it from behind," said the Japanese runner who finished in 2hr 24min 43sec.
When asked if the staggered start times for the various fields needed to be adapted to allow wheelchair racers to start first, Kurt Fearnley, the winner of the men's wheelchair race, said: "We've thought it for years, mate."
Commentating on the race the world record holder Paula Radcliffe suggested that race organisers consider an alternative system, sometimes used in mixed-gender marathons, whereby drinks tables were stationed on opposite sides of the road to make a clear divide between the two race fields.
London Marathon organisers said they were analysing footage of Sunday's incident and would make an official response.