As is the case every year, 2016 was filled with highs and lows in the world of hammer throwing. World records were set, and former record setters athletes were banned. New athletes arrived, and old athletes retired. The Olympic men’s hammer final lacked some luster, but overall the year more than lived up to my expectations. Below is my list of top hammer throwing stories from the past year. Read more
When the IAAF changed its qualifying system a few years ago, one of the major goals was to provide a better method to estimate and cap athlete participation throughout all events. The prior qualification system used in London resulted in the IAAF being more than 10% over the athlete quota given to them by the International Olympic Committee. The new system tried to remedy this by making the standards much harder so that fewer athletes qualified, and then handing out special invitations if any surplus existed. With such a system the IAAF would be able to hold its quota, and perhaps prepare itself for potential future reductions to that quota as a result of new IOC President Thomas Bach’s Project 2020. Read more
Nick is easily irritated, and sometimes he needs to let off some of that steam. On this episode we dive into a few of Nick’s most recent rants and pet peeves on a wide variety of topics. Read more
Most people thought that with the elimination of Olympic B qualifying standards, the Olympic Trials selection process would be simpler this time around. For the most part, it will be. There will just be a fixed standard, a fixed team size, and a fixed deadline (i.e. no time to chase it after the Trials). But if things were that clear cut, I wouldn’t need to write this post. Despite some last minute adjustments, the Olympic qualifying standards are still absurdly high in some events. The IAAF has set a target field size of each event and plans to send out extra invitations if not enough people meet the standard. That will indeed be the case in the field and multi events, even though the size is limited to just 32 athletes. As of last week less than half the events have reached that number, including just 3 of the 9 events on the men’s side. (And this is before taking into account that more and more countries are now electing to leave home athletes that have met these already rigid standards.) The IAAF’s procedures to fill up the field based on descending order lists was an administrative failure last year and leaves everyone with a bit of uncertainty with one month left in the Olympic qualifying period. So I’ve dug into the USATF selection procedures in hopes of bringing clarity to the athletes competing for a chance at glory next month. Read more
On Thursday the IAAF announced that they would be lowering the Olympic qualifying standards in 17 events. This is undoubtedly good news to everyone in our sport as the previous standards were unrealistically high. But it also begs the question: why did the IAAF have to lower the qualifying standard in the first place? Did the quality suddenly drop in 40% of the events? Or is the IAAF just out of touch with our sport? One cannot help but think this after following the recent athletics news. Read more
Back in April one of my articles went viral when I wrote that under the new Olympic standards are so high that Olympic javelin champion Keshorn Walcott would not have even qualified for the Games. The point of the article was that the standards are way out of line in some events, yet many people missed that point and quickly pointed out that Walcott would have never these been an Olympian. Even though he didn’t have the standard, the new qualifying system invites additional athletes to ensure a minimum field size of 32 athletes. Ranked 22nd in the world in 2012, Walcott would have been in London. It seemed so clear to the people responding to my article, but I was skeptical. Read more
When I read last week that the IAAF announced the Olympic qualifying standards, including an unbelievable qualifying standard of 83 metres in the javelin, my first thought was:
Please please can somebody stop these people from killing our sport!