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  • World Champs: expand from 3 max per Country? Pros/Cons?

    Case in point (from 110 Hurdles July 1 thread):

    "here's the top 11 in the world half-way through the year. USA's doing OK. I'd give Robles the WC Gold today, if we could just send all these guys to the WC!

    13.04 Dayron Robles CUB
    13.09 David Oliver USA
    13.12 Terrence Trammell USA
    13.12 David Payne USA
    13.13 Dexter Faulk USA
    13.15 Aries Merritt USA
    13.21 Ryan Wilson USA
    13.24 Antwon Hicks USA
    13.24 Eric Mitchum USA
    13.27 Ronnie Ash USA
    13.29 Jason Richardson USA"

    America will send 3 110 Hurdlers to Berlin.

    Who out there believes the WC format should open the qualifying slots per country, based on a recalibrated tiered qualification system.

    instead of -
    A = 3
    B = 1
    at large? = 1?

    How about this?

    A = 6 (and yes, 7 if country has athlete with Champion bye; this is a higher "A")
    B = 2
    C = 1

    Example: Men's 110 Hurdles:

    A = 13.30 - 6/country max
    B = 13.55 - 2/country max
    C = 13.80 - 1/country max

    The number "6" is arbitrary, but something like this would produce better overall quality and depth of performance at the WCs.

    Plus, if there are 6 U.S. guys in the 110 Hurdles final or 6 Kenyans in the 5,000 or 6 Finnish Javelin throwers, so be it.

    Why does the WC have to follow the Olympic format?

    discuss....

  • #2
    Re: World Champs should open up qualifiers/Country: Yes, No?

    Originally posted by 110hedgeNYC
    Why does the WC have to follow the Olympic format?
    discuss....
    Cuz the world's track federations want it that way?

    Comment


    • #3
      Because the IAAF is made up of just over 200 federations, each of which gets one vote. So Tonga has as much power as the U.S.

      If you're a smaller nation, you adjust your expectations downward. A finalist can feel just as good as a medal does to the U.S. Getting a lesser medal is as good as a gold.

      Do you see the smaller nations ever voting to reduce their chances for glory? Not in their self-interest, unfortunately.

      With open season, do you think that 2007 finalists Gongeng Shi (China) Sergiy Demydyuk (Ukraine), Jackson QuiƱonez (Spain) and Maurice Wignall (Jamaica) all would have made it? Any of them?

      (just to clarify: i know which meet I'd rather see; I'm just telling you the realities of the situation)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: World Champs should open up qualifiers/Country: Yes, No?

        Originally posted by 110hedgeNYC
        Case in point (from 110 Hurdles July 1 thread):
        "here's the top 11 in the world half-way through the year. USA's doing OK. I'd give Robles the WC Gold today, if we could just send all these guys to the WC!
        13.04 Dayron Robles CUB
        13.09 David Oliver USA
        13.12 Terrence Trammell USA
        13.12 David Payne USA
        13.13 Dexter Faulk USA
        13.15 Aries Merritt USA
        13.21 Ryan Wilson USA
        13.24 Antwon Hicks USA
        13.24 Eric Mitchum USA
        13.27 Ronnie Ash USA
        13.29 Jason Richardson USA"
        America will send 3 110 Hurdlers to Berlin.
        Who out there believes the WC format should open the qualifying slots per country, based on a recalibrated tiered qualification system.
        instead of -
        A = 3
        B = 1
        at large? = 1?
        How about this?
        A = 6 (and yes, 7 if country has athlete with Champion bye; this is a higher "A")
        B = 2
        C = 1
        Example: Men's 110 Hurdles:
        A = 13.30 - 6/country max
        B = 13.55 - 2/country max
        C = 13.80 - 1/country max
        The number "6" is arbitrary, but something like this would produce better overall quality and depth of performance at the WCs.
        Plus, if there are 6 U.S. guys in the 110 Hurdles final or 6 Kenyans in the 5,000 or 6 Finnish Javelin throwers, so be it.
        Why does the WC have to follow the Olympic format?
        discuss....
        WAF does this, but it will end in 2010 due to a lack of interest from athletes and fans. I agree with the theory, but reality prevents it.
        none

        Comment


        • #5
          More on the pragmatics of the situation:

          Who will pay for the 4h or 5th through whatever-th athlete from a given country? It's not in the IAAF's interest to pay for that person, whereas it is in their interest to pay for the defending champion, even though the athlete's country pays for that person to be there. And I'm not convinced that the athlete's country is going to pay for the extra athletes as the diminishing returns (medal possibilities) kick in pretty quickly.

          I can only imagine that the cost of going to the meet would have to be borne by the athlete or his agent/sponsor. That's a question for agents who might be lurking on this thread.

          Comment


          • #6
            well, this is not a new issue, but if you think it's unfair that some of the world's bets athletes don't get to go to the world champs or the olympics (and this happens in other sports too, gymnastics, fencing, swimming -- which only allows 2 entrants per country per event, etc.), let me ask you this: how would you feel if there were 10 kenyans in the men's steeplechase? how interesting would that be? or 5 russian women in the 1,500 or long jump?

            i think having a country's top 4 or 5 might be a bit better than limiting it to 3, but more than that might not be manageable or ideal.

            Comment


            • #7
              oh yeah, and the fella's name is Shi Dongpeng.

              Comment


              • #8
                ok, I hear you. Good comments, thanks.

                I just wanted to put this hypothetical out there for discussion.

                - Perhaps there is some middle ground, for example, someone suggested a revised number of 4-5 athletes, instead of 3.

                - all the practicalities, costs, and the politics of it, particularly from the standpoint of the smaller countries, makes sense. Fair enough. Though, hard to imagine that the addition of 2-3 athletes in select disciplines is going to drive up the numbers and cost substantially. Remember, most countries are happy if they can get 1 - A-level qualifier, or even 1 - B level.

                - the WAF, also, as somebody mentions, is an approximation of what I'm suggesting, and it's losing interest - but it's a different creature than an expanded WC, where athletes would still represent their respective nations. With an expanded WC, there would be no need for a WAF.

                - I agree that it is more compelling to see athletes from a variety of countries, rather than, say, 7 Kenyans in the 5K final or 6 Americans in the 110 Hurdles final.

                - I would bet, however, that even if, for example countries like Kenya or the U.S. could send 6 athletes to WC in a particular event, invariably other athletes from other countries rise up, some favorites crash out, and 9/10 we'd see 3-4 Americans in the 110 Hurdles final and 3-4 Kenyans in the 5K, not more.

                I'd have no problem with that and I suspect most casual viewers wouldn't either.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Read the post by gh and consider his insights. End of discussion.
                  none

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    what could work is to have a re-tiered set of qualifying standards:

                    Here are the current entry standards rules for WC 2009.

                    ENTRY RULES
                    Each Member is entitled to enter two, three or four athletes per event, as follows:
                    - 1, 2, 3 or 4 athletes with "A" standard;
                    - 1 athlete with the "B" and 1, 2 or 3 athletes with the "A" standard;
                    in both cases a maximum of three athletes will be allowed to compete.

                    Each Member is entitled to enter two athletes per event who have both reached the "B" standard for that event but only one will be allowed to compete.

                    Members who have no male and/or no female qualified athletes whom they wish to enter in any event may enter one unqualified male athlete and/or one unqualified female athlete in one individual event except the 10,000m, 3000m Steeplechase and the Combined Events while the acceptance of unqualified entries in the Field Events is at the discretion of the Technical Delegates.

                    In addition to the above, Member Federations are entitled to enter the Reigning World Champion regardless of whether he / she has achieved the corresponding entry standard.
                    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Two Test Scenarios:

                    Existing Standards A (3) B (1; plus 2 if those have A)
                    110 Metres Hurdles 13.55 13.62

                    Revised Standard "Platinum" (5, no roll ups) A (3) B (1)
                    110 Metres Hurdles 13.29 13.55 13.65
                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    Existing Standards A (3) B (1; plus 2 if those have A)
                    100 Meters Men 10.21 10.28

                    Revised Standard "Platinum" (5, no roll ups) A (3) B (1)
                    100 Meters Men 10.11 10.21 10.30

                    Benefit? Incrementally deeper fields, tighter competition, but still inclusive and providing opportunities for athletes from non-dominant nations (in any given event) a chance to come in and race the "big boys (or women)" with the B standard - perhaps even a just slightly softer B standard.

                    a modified system like this would, IMO, make for better comp., quality and overall stature of competition without crowding out athletes from smaller countries.

                    If anything, there is a benefit to the B qualifiers: if there are more competitors under 10.11, greater chance to get in a race with one of them in first round. you improve only by racing people better than you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cacique
                      let me ask you this: how would you feel if there were 10 kenyans in the men's steeplechase? how interesting would that be? or 5 russian women in the 1,500 or long jump?
                      Most (real) fans would LOVE it, because they would be seeing the world's best going at it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The whole thing as initiated from a US point of view feels both strange and ironic - I can't help feeling the inclusion of athletes like Clay, Fountain, Oliver etc., quite possible even with the current three spots per event, would 1) strengthen the US team more than extra spots filled by their #4 guys/girls and 2) delight both Marlow's "real fan" and the other type of observers more than seeing an extra US sprinter take last in men's 200m final.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While acknowledging that it likely to never happen due to the current structure of the IAAF, I personally HATE the sport is structured along the Olympic model. I would prefer the completely different model of tennis or golf. Let the best of the best duel it out. If 10 Kenyans are in the final of the steeplechase so be it. Of course at that point I would be happy to do away with medal ceremonies and medal counts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The only issue would come into place when you'd have teammates using team tactics to control the race and whether someone will do well. This is already done, but image you get that ONE gifted afthlete from one country who is there lone representative, being forced to run inside a box in the 1500/5K/10K event. It would suck.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My take is almost always that the athletes should come first: If the public
                              finds seven Kenyans boring, then let them be bored. (Further, speaking for
                              myself, and many other posters, I would prefer to see the best.) As is, the
                              system is in many regards unfair, and many worthy athletes are not given a
                              fair chance. Consider, further, complications like that a promising junior
                              from the US will not get the chance to gather championship experiences as
                              he would if Swedish; that a mediocre athlete in a weak discipline
                              (nationally) may get an all-expenses-paid trip, while a medal contender is
                              left at home; or that the left-out athletes may have lesser sponsor
                              opportunities.

                              My solution would be to make the qualification more global, e.g. by
                              guaranteeing the top-ten (by some to be specified criterion) in the world a
                              place. Other possibilities include adding plenty of wild cards, or having
                              qualifications on the global or area level.

                              I note that costs are not a good counter-argument: The organiser costs
                              can be capped by not increasing the number of contestants. As for the
                              national costs, a system where the national federation pays is preferable;
                              however, athletes have no positive right to paid trips, and limiting this
                              to e.g. the top-three would not be unethical. (Whereas limiting
                              competition, at all, to the top-three is.)

                              ``National pride/involvement'', and similar arguments, may prove a
                              pragmatical obstacle, but do not affect what _should_ be, and with time
                              there may be a chance to change this---in particular, if we eventually give
                              the athletes more say in the IAAF (and IOC) than they have today.

                              Comment

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