In­cludes South of Thames Cham­pi­onships and Bri­tish win in Barcelona 24-hours

Athletics Weekly - - News -

WHILE races are usu­ally won by the most de­serv­ing, any­thing in­volv­ing pub­lic votes is a lot­tery and a pop­u­lar­ity con­test as the US elec­torate can bear wit­ness.

Last week­end Strictly was not won by the best dancer but the most pop­u­lar and it seems it is more im­por­tant to have a high so­cial me­dia pres­ence than be good at some­thing.

In the BBC SPOTY awards, few would ar­gue that win­ning a Tour de France is up there with any­thing but in pre­vi­ous years the Kenyan-born Chris Froome has not found it suf­fi­cient.

Geraint Thomas’s win was de­served but net­ball – not even an Olympic sport – gain­ing two wins for a Com­mon­wealth ti­tle shows a well-or­gan­ised me­dia cam­paign can pay div­i­dends over what’s fair.

Even the awards raise eye­brows. Di­naAsher-Smith wins the in­ter­na­tional award but is not ranked first in the merit rank­ings in ei­ther sprint.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Jo Pavey has never run a mas­ters race and barely com­peted in 2018 but still heav­ily out­votes all but one mas­ter record-breaker be­cause she is also known and ad­mired by all in the sport.

I pre­fer races to polls and votes. It is a pity pres­i­den­tial and elec­tions aren’t raced for so the best re­ally can win.

Steve Smythe,re­sults ed­i­tor

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