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  • New Records

    Let's consider, just for talking purposes, a "what if".
    What if the pleas by various athletes to change the 100 false start rule back like it used to be ends up falling on deaf ears, and they are stuck in the foreseeable future with the rule as currently stated and implemented. The sport just "moves on" with the new rule, basically.

    Should the previous records (World, national, etc) for the 100m be 'retired' and new records be established, using the same procedures as used for new events like the women's PV, women's hammer and implement changes like the men's & women's Jav a few years ago?

    The argument is that the 100 is now fundamentally different than it was previously, and elite athlete seasonal bests are markedly slower, because they have to start under a much more restrictive rule.
    There may be a bit of a learning curve- they may produce a bit faster times next year- BUT the overall progression curve appears to have been set back about three decades to where we were in the late 60's or early 70's.

    Does it make sense to "re-set" the records and start over? Note that there are also some side-benefits in doing so, especially on the women's side.

    The 100m is the most obvious case.
    What about the pole vault, with the smaller pegs?

    By the way, the very possibility of re-setting the records may be a reason that many European and African sprinters may SUPPORT keeping the new rule as is.

    I'm interested in your opinion within the 'stuck with the rule as is' "what-if" framework.
    Answering that 'the rule has to be changed period, nothing else is acceptable' is a copout. No need to post an answer in that case- there's plenty of other threads on that one.

  • #2
    Re: New Records

    I don't think it is a totally valid theory unless the previous record or top times were set in races that had already undergone one false start.

    If they get away cleanly on the first attempt, then under both the old and new systems, everyone is operating on the premise they have two chances and will be as aggressive.

    Only if there has been a false start already charged to the field will the current environment have an impact on each athlete.


    • #3
      Re: New Records

      In an earlier thread I pointed out that reaction times for this year's men's 100m final were faster on average than the previous 3 championships (Edmonton, Sydney and Sevilla). If the event is fundamentally changed then why are the finalists starting faster on average?

      Couldn't it be argued that it's just a down year in the 100 and/or the track in Paris is slower?

      Here is the URL to the thread with final times and reaction times for the past 4 major 100m finals: ... hread=1588


      • #4
        Re: New Records

        Only if
        >there has been a false start already charged to
        >the field will the current environment have an
        >impact on each athlete.

        Below are the final times and reaction times from the infamous heat 2 of the men's 100 quarterfinals. After a cursory look through of the other heats as well as past championship finals, these reaction times don't look out of the ordinary. Could it be there was less of an impact than people think?

        1 Boldon Ato TRI 10.09 Q (SB) 0.134
        2 Emedolu Uchenna NGR 10.13 Q 0.154
        3 Macrozonaris Nicolas CAN 10.16 Q 0.141
        4 Pognon Ronald FRA 10.23 Q 0.139
        4 Thomas Dwight JAM 10.23 Q 0.159
        6 Johnson Patrick AUS 10.27 0.162


        • #5
          Re: New Records

          >Couldn't it be argued that it's just a down year
          >in the 100 and/or the track in Paris is slower?

          Probably not the latter- one meet doesn't a case make.
          Earlier this year the argument was bad weather in Europe- lot's of rain.
          Well the last month was blazing hot- record temperatures- which is supposed to be what sprinters love.
          But no difference in the times, other than that single race where Capel & Gatlin finally dipped under 10.00. Still nothing remotely like 9.8x's and a slew of 9.9's.

          I guess the short sprinters might say "well, we need the hard track surface in COMBINATION with the hot temperatures, and by the time the tour moved north from the Mediterranean towns that have rock-hard tracks- like Athens- the weather had changed from rainy to hot which is good, but the tracks changed from hard to spongy."

          Distance runners laugh at the whole thing.

          I guess they need four seperate records:

          throw in altitude/sea-level and you then have eight records!

          Your first suggestion- it's just a down year- may hold true for individuals- some are always on the way up and some are always on the way down-
          but the entire world at the same time?
          I lean toward the argument that they're sitting in the blocks because of the new rule, the Paris reaction times notwithstanding.


          • #6
            Re: New Records

            My only problem with this theory is that it does not seem to hold true with the women as well. We have seen a lot of wonderful performances this year and even personal bests from some of the top athletes. To me, it really does just seem like an interim period for the men in the 100m. You have the guys who were at the top (Greene, etc.) starting to decline, guys who are on the way up (Gaitlin, Capel) who still need some time to round in to shape, and guys who just had abnormal years with a lot of personal issues they were dealing with (Montgomery).

            Whatever the case is, I would not agree with erasing the old world records. Right now, prior to the first false start, I believe people are still going to react the same way they always did because there still is no penalty. Also, even from before when you had numerous false starts in a race, the ones who still had to "sit" still came up with good races and fast times. I think that if the rule stays in place people will become more adjusted to it over time and things will look up if it truly is indeed a factor. And lets not forget that most everyone dealt with NO false starts in college and seem to do relatively fine.


            • #7
              Re: New Records

              Yea I agree on the down year theory for 100m Men. It seems like some of the top guys are on their way down, and others are on their way up, and it seems to be happening at the same time. Maybe no one was really in the physical or mental shape to run anything like 9.9 or under, but I really doubt this is going to be a new trend. I feel like come next season, especially with the olympics, times are going to start blazing again.


              • #8
                Re: New Records

                I don't think the new false start has had nearly as much of an effect as the shorter pegs. The shorter pegs physically change the event. Its already been said that they may have set the event back 10 years.


                • #9
                  Re: New Records

                  Of course it's a down year for the 100! None of us could agree on who the favorite was, and not because it was so competitive. If you needed a clinic on how to stay relaxed during the 100, Collins showed exactly what NOT to do, yet still won. 10.07 is a slow championship time under any circumstances.

                  And my prediction was right; the leading nation in medals per capita is, and shall remain, St. Kitts and Nevis (pop. +/- 40,000).


                  • #10
                    Re: New Records

                    Yeah, I also noticed how 'bad' Collins's form was. He really looked like a rookie trying to keep up with the big boys. He got caught big time at the end, but great lean won it. I really do think the soft track was a disadvantage to the larger, more pwerful sprinters and his colt-like galloping and lighter weight was an advantage. 20-20 hindsight?


                    • #11
                      Re: New Records

                      If a spongy track hinders one body type, then does the same body type receive an advantage on a harder track? If headwinds favor bigger, more muscular guys, do tailwinds favor lighter, thinner athletes (what blows faster down the street, an empty styrofoam cup or one half-filled with water [with a lid on ]) Get out the rocket scientists cuz I don't claim to be a physicist but I do find this subject interesting, although admittedly moot.