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Iguider's 3:32.88 in Marseille was short! Started from wrong line!


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  • Iguider's 3:32.88 in Marseille was short! Started from wrong line!

    I have written the comments below on a thread on LetsRun. Someone suggested that I should post it on here.

    Just watched the race on the Youtube link. Apart from dreadful camera work/editing of the race, and the fact that the on screen clock seems to have a delay of about 0.4, I'm convinced they started this race from the wrong line!

    If you look at the splits on the clock, there is something very weird going on.

    Taking Iguider, he goes through 200m in 25.9 ( a bit fast), 300m in 40.4 (a 14.5 100m stretch) and 400m in 56.8 (to their start line). That gives 25.9, 14.5, 16.4!! They don't appear to slow that drastically from 300 to 400m!?

    Iguider then goes through 600m in 1:24.3 (a 27.5 200m stretch after a previous one of 30.9)
    Unfortunately there is no shot of them passing 700m. But Iguider hits 800m in 1:55.5 (31.2 for that 200m stretch). He hits 1000m (calculating an approx time from how far behind the pacer he is) in c. 2:23.3; another quicker 200m of 27.8.

    Perhaps it is better to take the leader's split at this point, as it is clearer what times he hits those marks. I get 1:54.7 at 800 and 2:22.2 at 1000m for the leader. That's 27.5 (55.0 400 speed).

    Using the fact that Iguider passes the curved (1 mile start line) at 2:36.1 and he takes c. 1.3 to get from there to the finish line on the last lap, I estimate he hits the bell in c. 2:37.6. That represents 14.2 for that 100m stretch, which sounds about right.
    He then goes through 1200m in 2:53.6. There is no way that the 100m from the bell to the 1200m on a last lap, when they are clearly not slowing down, takes 16.0 sec!!!!!
    He then hits the (not clear) 1300m line in 3:05.9 (a 12.3 100m!?) and the 100m from home line (1400m) in 3:19.0. A curve of 14.1 seems absolutely in keeping with a last lap of c. 55 sec.
    He hits the finish line at 3:32.4, which then carries on to 3:32.9.
    Using the onscreen clock, his last 100m was c. 13.4.

    So using the 200m split from the supposed start line (at 1200m) to 1400m, we get 25.4. This is far too fast, considering the last lap was around 55.0 sec and the last 100m was 13.4.

    There is no way the legitimate last 4 x 100m splits were 16.0, 12.3, 14.1, 13.4 (13.8 if you take the residual follow on).

    That time should not stand as a world lead, as they clearly started on the wrong curved line, which is about 10m further back.

    Another poster (JRinaldi), and coach to a 1:44 800m runner agrees. He wrote: -

    "they should have started on the line, they were all standing behind before being called up to the wrong starting line. You can see the 300m starting mark in lane 3 (right next to where the 5th athlete is placing his foot). You can even see some of the athletes look towards the starter with confusion when he calls them to the mark."

    I'd appreciate it if others take a look at the video link and have a look at the race/splits themselves. I'm pretty sure I'm not going mad!

    I think that the IAAF needs to be made aware of this as the time should not stand. Any suggestions who should be contacted or how?

  • #2
    The link to the race in question is here:-

    Race Video:

    Look at the start line they use 43 secs into the video. It is the 2nd curved line on the back straight. There is a black box on the infield next to this line and an orange symbol on the advertising board around the outside. From that start line they reach the 100m from home line (the white staggered line before the yellow one) in 25.1 for the pacer. That's 50.2 400m pace.
    The pacer then hits the finish line in 39.8 (the guy in yellow is more clear at 40.0) . That's a 14.7 stretch. No problem.

    The first curved line on the back straight, which is indeed the proper 1500m start line, is not where the 'official' 400m split is taken. They put it up on screen at the 2nd curved line, which is the one they actually started from. So the 54.6 split someone suggested as the 400m time is for c390m.
    The pacer doesn't pass the start line (the 2nd curved line) until 55.9. The African in the yellow in 56.1. That represents a 16.1 100m stretch from the finish line to the line they started the race from.

    Using the (wrong) start line you get a first 200m (the 200m start line is not clear on this vid) of 25.1, then a 14.8, then a 16.1.

    On the 2nd lap the pacer runs the 200m (from the wrong start line - 56.1)from 400m to 600m(1:23.8) in 27.7. The video then is badly edited, but the 800m time (to the 2nd curve) is 1:54.5, meaning that 200m from 600 to 800 was supposedly 31.3.

    The pacer hits the 1000m mark in 2:22.3. Again, the 200m stretch from 800 was a super fast 27.8 (following on from the previous 200m of 31.3!) Iguider would have gone through 1000m in c. 2:23.2. He then runs the nest 100m to the bell in about 14.4. (2:37.4/2:37.5)

    On the last lap, we see Iguider hit the mile start curve in 2:36.1, meaning he went through the bell (9.3m further on) in c 2:37.4/2:37.5. He then goes through the start line (the 2nd curve) in 2:53.5. That's a 16.0 100m stretch!?
    Again, the 200m start line is not obvious, but he certainly hits the 100m from home line in 3:19.0, and his torso is over the finish line in 3:32.5. There is obviously a residual error of about 0.4 sec, but that would have been the same at all the marks where splits are taken.

    So from 1000m we have a 14.4, 16.0, 25.5, 13.5. There is no way that they slowed down that much for 100m and then sped up to 51.0 400m pace from 1200 to 1400m.

    If you take the first curved line as the 1200m split, which is where the race should have (but DIDN'T start from), then you'd have got the following from 1000m for Iguider: -


    or ~ 14.3, 14.8, 26.7, 13.5

    That gives closing splits of ~ 55.0, 40.2, 13.5, based on the running clock. Because of the residual error of 0.4, then his times at each 100m point over the last lap would have been more like - 2:37.9, 2:52.7, 3:19.4, 3:32.9

    But the splits obviously don't change.

    It is clear from just watching the race with the naked eye that there is no such drastic fluctuation in pace. The reason for the wildly changeable splits is because they started from the wrong line and ran less than 1500m.

    The thread can be found here: -
    Last edited by deanouk; 06-13-2015, 11:49 AM.


    • #3
      Does seem to be an issue. You could contact IAAF at

      Perhaps select "Records and Lists" under "select your contact".


      • #4
        Many thank for that info player. Much appreciated.


        • #5
          Bump for info on IAAF reply
          Tom Hyland:
          "squack and wineturtle get it"


          • #6
            Looks pretty obvious they were 10m short


            • #7
              As a connoisseur of track markings <grin>, I opine that they most definitely were started from the wrong line. They had been standing on the correct 1500m start line at the beginning of the video, before they were told to move up, way up.

              I'd guess that the improper line they used is about 8m from the proper line, making the race about 1492m.

              Has anyone notified the IAAF yet? As of right now, Iguider is being credited by the IAAF for this short race.


              • #8
                Received word from Ottavio Castellini, IAAF Statistics & Documentation Senior Manager, that he is awaiting the results of an investigation by the French federation.


                • #9
                  so what was the purpose of the line they went to?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gh View Post
                    so what was the purpose of the line they went to?
                    Not sure about that and I don't want to guess.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gh View Post
                      so what was the purpose of the line they went to?
                      Could it be that they just effed up? We are talking about human beings.


                      • #12
                        yeah, but you don't just eff up in the middle of nowhere. There had to be something there that fooled them (I'm reminded of coruse, that even decades ago there were tales of Rieti 1500s sometimes being started in a similar position)


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gh View Post
                          so what was the purpose of the line they went to?
                          Can't we ask that question whether it's the right line or not? Why would there be two lines in that spot 8-10m apart?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NotDutra5 View Post
                            Can't we ask that question whether it's the right line or not? Why would there be two lines in that spot 8-10m apart?
                            Is there any track configuration which can result in a steeple startline in that vicinity?


                            • #15
                              I was trying to google maps the stadium, but the only picture shows it still under construction. An article I read online indicated that it is a new stadium (or refurbished). There is a chance that they just marked the track wrong, and this is the first time that it has been used for a high level meet. Other than that, I've got nothing.

                              Edit to add: it would be easy enough for someone to go out and measure it, though.