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  • Olympic qualifying requirements?

    Is there a list of standards athletes must meet in order to compete in the Olympics in track and field? On one hand, I thought there was such a list, because we've had to leave marathoners at home before. But then there was the Palestinian 10K runner who jogged home in 37 minutes or so in Atlanta. Did he meet the Olympic standard for that race?

  • #2
    Re: Olympic qualifying requirements?

    There are two qualifying standards. Nations can enter up to three athletes as long as they all have met the "A" standard. If not, they can still enter an athlete in an event as long as they have met the "B" standard.

    Every nation is still guaranteed at least one competitor even if no one has met a "B" standard, thus your Palestinian 10k man. This led to a hilarious happening in Edmonton; a Samoan shot putter showed up, expecting to be his nation's lone competitor. His nation's athletic ass'n hadn't read the fine print on the new rules: nations can now only enter their one non-qualifying competitor in running events (the IAAF wanted to shorten field event competitions). So this 300+ pound Samoan entered the 100 and ran about 14 seconds. He was a local celebrity for about a day!

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    • #3
      Re: Olympic qualifying requirements?

      Thank you, j. So in other words, Paraguay for example could enter at least one runner in the 100m -- even if he/she didn't meet the "B" standards?

      Hilarious about the Samoan putter-turned-sprinter!

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      • #4
        Re: Olympic qualifying requirements?

        It's a politics thing. Every IAAF-member nation gets a representative at the WC and OG (I believe they get both one man and one woman), no matter how bad they suck (by world-class standards). Another one in Edmonton was the lone representative from Norfolk Island (pop. 1800) named Angela Keogh. She was 39 years old, and nearly everyone on the island knew her from her weekly long training session (one lap around the island for 20 km). She finished 40 minutes behind the winner and 26 minutes behind second-to-last, but got a big cheer from the crowd.

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        • #5
          Re: Olympic qualifying requirements?

          Yes, it has become politicized. What it started at was an honorable Olympic tradition (in the citius-altius-fortius vein) that made competing more importand than winning (or so they'd have you belive). When World Champs started, the same policy was adopted, although it was quickly co-opted by the Nebiolo machine as a way to guarantee IAAF votes.

          We've recently seen, I believe that Rogge has come out against "Olympic tourists" and may move to end the practice. If that happens, look for track shortly thereafter to get the same fate as swimming and end up with only two athletes per nation in each event as way to keep total Olympic numbers down.

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