IAAF launch rank­ings idea

Athletics Weekly - - Contents -

ANEW rank­ings sys­tem will be in­tro­duced by the IAAF next year as a qual­i­fi­ca­tion mech­a­nism for ma­jor cham­pi­onships.

The IAAF has part­nered with Hun­gary-based Elite

Ltd (All Athletics) to pro­duce a sys­tem which the global gov­ern­ing body de­scribes as “the first step in fun­da­men­tal changes in athletics”.

“The IAAF world rank­ings, which will come into op­er­a­tion in 2018, will drive and shape the global com­pe­ti­tion sys­tem in­clud­ing en­try into the World Cham­pi­onships and Olympic Games,” said IAAF pres­i­dent Seb Coe.

“For the first time in the sport’s his­tory, ath­letes, me­dia and fans will have a clear un­der­stand­ing of the hi­er­ar­chy of com­pe­ti­tions from na­tional through to area and up to global events, al­low­ing them to fol­low a log­i­cal sea­son-long path to the pin­na­cle of athletics top two com­pe­ti­tions.”

More de­tails are set to be re­leased in the new year but the idea has al­ready come un­der crit­i­cism. Long-term in­jury, for ex­am­ple, could see an ath­lete miss com­pe­ti­tions and fail to qual­ify for the ma­jor cham­pi­onships through the new rank­ings sys­tem.

Also, ath­letes in poorer coun­tries will not be able to travel as much to meet­ings to build up rank­ings points. Ath­letes might also be pres­sured into com­pet­ing more and risk­ing in­jury.

Writ­ing in Athletics In­ter­na­tional, statis­ti­cian Peter Matthews said the idea was not new as the IAAF used sim­i­lar rank­ings from 2001-06 and added that he was “con­cerned that while such a sys­tem may be ap­pro­pri­ate for the full-time trav­el­ling pro­fes­sion­als, most ath­letes are not in this cat­e­gory and up-and-com­ing ath­letes may find it dif­fi­cult to gather the points needed to qual­ify for global cham­pi­onships”.

An­other IAAF ini­tia­tive that is likely to be more warmly wel­comed is the cre­ation of a ‘her­itage’ de­part­ment to pro­mote the his­tory of the sport. It will be headed by Chris Turner, who has worked for the IAAF’s me­dia de­part­ment since 2002 and was one of AW’s re­porters at the 2000 Olympics.

Fi­nally, the IAAF an­nounced its short list of ath­letes in its end of year awards and they are: Mu­taz Essa Barshim, Mo Farah and Wayde van Niek­erk and, for the women, Al­maz Ayana, Katerina Ste­fanídi and Nafis­satou Thiam.

The de­ci­sion has come un­der fire, though, due to

Ayana only hav­ing raced twice in 2017 whereas ath­letes such as ham­mer thrower Anita Wlo­dar­czyk and high jumper Mariya La­sit­skiené com­peted mul­ti­ple times and re­mained un­de­feated.

The win­ners are an­nounced on Novem­ber 24, but if you pre­fer to pick your own ath­letes of the year in the AW read­ers’ poll then go to ath­let­ic­sweekly. com to cast your votes.

Seb Coe: mak­ing changes

Al­maz Ayana: con­tro­ver­sial choice

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