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  • Qualification system for the 2020 Olympic Games

    https://www.iaaf.org/news/press-rele...-qualification

    So, qualification for the 2020 Olympics is a mish-mash of either getting the standard (tougher than usual but not the "exceptional performance" standard we were led to believe) or getting in via the the new World Rankings system.

    The IAAF said, "The process is designed to achieve about 50 percent of the target numbers for each event through entry standards and the remaining 50 percent through the IAAF world ranking system."

    One of the IAAF's reasons for the new World Rankings & using them for championship qualifying was to get the top athletes competing more often. However, I'm not sure how this qualification system for Tokyo achieves that - one performance better than the standard and you're in.

    Any thoughts? Have the IAAF bottled it a bit?

  • #2
    There is the possibility that this system may result in a 'worst of both worlds' scenario. The standards are such that the really top athletes won't actually have to concern themselves with competing that often. While alloting the spots for those who don't have the standard on the basis of a new rankings system which seems far from perfect will probably lead to some anomalous situations, such as an off-form athlet qualifying on the back of a couple of early-season appearances at a Diamond League where they actually performed very poorly.

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    • #3
      It's also up to the NGB to determine their selection approach of course, and if you have a glut of capable athletes with the quali standard you can still run trials etc. I think this may get complex though and will need NGBs to have flexible selection policies.

      e.g. let's assume only 1 British woman dips under 1:59.5 in the quali period, but half a dozen are in 1:59.6-2:01 territory. When the IAAF closes the qualification window, will they look through the rankings and allow for some "tolerance" so that potentially those 6 are within the rankings cut off and therefore allow UKA to run a trial for the 2 additional spots? But what if they cut off the rankings such that 4 of those UK women are outside the rankings, yet the two that are in get roundly beaten at the UK champs?

      I think the onus is on the IAAF in that situation to get it right so that as many athletes as possible get the chance to allow their NGBs to select them, obviously subject to the max 3 per nation limitation.

      Of course, it's also up to the athletes to compete and work their rankings effectively - some of that will be luck down to invitations, but they should be planning now for a calendar of events that will give them the chance for decent points scoring chances.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by larkim View Post

        e.g. let's assume only 1 British woman dips under 1:59.5 in the quali period, but half a dozen are in 1:59.6-2:01 territory. When the IAAF closes the qualification window, will they look through the rankings and allow for some "tolerance" so that potentially those 6 are within the rankings cut off and therefore allow UKA to run a trial for the 2 additional spots? But what if they cut off the rankings such that 4 of those UK women are outside the rankings, yet the two that are in get roundly beaten at the UK champs?

        .
        The more I think about it the more complicated this becomes. I think BA will try and operate a similar system to the one before, so if you finish top 2 at the trials and have the standard you get selected. Or if you finish top 2 at the trials and are in the IAAFs rankings top 3 at the end of the window you get selected. Then comes the problem

        Using the women’s 800 at the trials as an example again, you might get the following:

        1. Shelayna OC
        2. L Sharp
        3. Mari Smith
        4. Adele Tracey

        Most likely Tracey would receive invites to more prestigious meetings and will have a higher ranking. But Smith has just finished ahead of her and may have a much better head-to-head and SB. The IAAF might only extend the invite to Tracey when it should be Smith who gets the nod. The IAAFs interpretation of who is the third best athlete in Britain might be wildly different to BAs. But I think it’s likely NGBs will lobby the IAAF to let them take who they want.

        TBH, the whole thing is so complicated I can’t see them sticking with it for long. Why run the system for the first time in Olympic year?!

        Comment


        • Laps
          Laps commented
          Editing a comment
          As there is masses of evidence to prove that Tracey is a better 800m athlete than Mari Smith by two seconds plus this spurious selection puzzle is not likely to happen. Smith did pick up the pieces and squeaked into the European Indoor Semi-Final but I would be surprised if any selector gave that race much thought.

      • #5
        I'm sure national federations will still have the ultimate say in who goes as long as the athlete is qualified/ranked high enough. BA will likely take top 2 at trials if they are fit and eligible. The problem as ever with BA is with the discretionary spots. Plus ca change.

        Comment


        • Laps
          Laps commented
          Editing a comment
          Actually the trials are more of a problem if the aim is to field the strongest team. No problem with the discretionary spots if your only interest is to see the best team out eg Tracey rather than Bell last year.

      • #6
        Originally posted by Ladyloz View Post
        I'm sure national federations will still have the ultimate say in who goes as long as the athlete is qualified/ranked high enough. BA will likely take top 2 at trials if they are fit and eligible. The problem as ever with BA is with the discretionary spots. Plus ca change.
        From what the IAAF said the other day I'm not so sure. Anyone with the standard is qualified but then to fill out the fields it seems the IAAF will be issuing invites based on the World Rankings, thereby taking the decisions on the remainder of the team out of national federations' hands?

        Comment


        • Laps
          Laps commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes I agree with your reading of the IAAF document, taken at face value. I am surprised that the NGBs of a sport have seemingly ceded selection to an International governing body so meekly. Or maybe this is just the opening salvo?

      • #7
        Laps, I was just using it as an example, for all we know Mari Smith could improve dramatically this season. You miss the point slightly, say Smith (or Alex Bell / Jane Bloggs / whoever) finishes ahead of a higher IAAF ranked athlete, how will BA select them if the invite goes to Tracey? There was nothing in the IAAF statement the other day or the rules they set out for the rankings that said NGB would have the ultimate discretion. The IAAF have gone to great lengths to set up the ranking system but would be somewhat undermined if NGBs want to select athletes that aren’t ranked 1,2,3 according to them

        Comment


        • #8
          Originally posted by LuckySpikes View Post

          From what the IAAF said the other day I'm not so sure. Anyone with the standard is qualified but then to fill out the fields it seems the IAAF will be issuing invites based on the World Rankings, thereby taking the decisions on the remainder of the team out of national federations' hands?
          I think you're misinterpreting things a bit. The point of the IAAF document is to say that the pool of athletes who are qualified for potential selection by the IAAF will come in two stages - the first will be the qualifying times (which we all recognize as being tougher) and the second will be based on the rankings as they stand at the end of the qualifying period. Once a NGB knows that pool, it is up to the NGB to select up to three athletes to send to the Games. The only potential for change there is that I think if the National Champs are outside of the quali period any performance at the Trials is also allowed for, but I don't think this will affect GB athletes as I'm assuming our Trials will be within the quali period (29th June).

          The second pool of qualified athletes aren't "invited", they are just "eligible". Logically, it will be impossible for the IAAF to allow for only three athletes per NGB to be eligible through the quali plus rankings systems whilst at the same time setting a sensible threshold for the rankings. For example, Kenyan's male marathoners could well have 80-100 athletes qualified by time, and another 50-100 by rankings (perhaps I'm exaggerating the numbers) once they've descended down the rankings list to a point where they can be confident that they'll get the right number of NGB entrants to fill the 80 places they intend to allow in the marathon. The point is clear for the marathon, clearly the numbers will be smaller for other events.

          The trick from the IAAFs perspective will be to draw the line at a point at which it is likely they will get the full number of places, so for some nations that will mean a big pool of potential athletes to run in trials if that's the way they want to select, and for other nations their pool will be smaller than 3 which will leave it to the NGB to decide whether all go or not, and the consequent decision about how they structure the trials to accommodate this.

          Comment


          • #9
            I suppose in the end the rankings becomes the old "B" standard - but it is more nuanced, and not just based on time performances.

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by treadwater1 View Post
              Laps, I was just using it as an example, for all we know Mari Smith could improve dramatically this season. You miss the point slightly, say Smith (or Alex Bell / Jane Bloggs / whoever) finishes ahead of a higher IAAF ranked athlete, how will BA select them if the invite goes to Tracey? There was nothing in the IAAF statement the other day or the rules they set out for the rankings that said NGB would have the ultimate discretion. The IAAF have gone to great lengths to set up the ranking system but would be somewhat undermined if NGBs want to select athletes that aren’t ranked 1,2,3 according to them
              Yes I know treadwater1. Apologies. Just thinking about yet another unjustified selection controversy when any selector in their right mind will consider ALL the form and ALL the circumstances. Then the right decision usually becomes b.obvious.
              Anyway my view is the IAAF has essentially taken over the selection process (or so it seems) which makes the process more straightforward. For 'marginal' athletes world rankings will be v.important. One or two good times won't be enough, they will have to claw their way up the slippery pole if they want to get to the Olympics. For the elite athletes world rankings might be more about status, invitations, money. What do you think?
              Last edited by Laps; 15-03-19, 22:26.

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              • #11
                Looking at the qual standards for Tokyo in AW today, at this point in time, as opposed to two summers ahead,, the number of of GB athletes qualifying will be probably reduced from previous globals.

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                • #12
                  Originally posted by philipo View Post
                  Looking at the qual standards for Tokyo in AW today, at this point in time, as opposed to two summers ahead,, the number of of GB athletes qualifying will be probably reduced from previous globals.
                  id imagine we will have similar numbers to what we normally have as other will be invited through the world rankings

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                  • #13
                    The idea that the Americans will be dictated to by the IAAF is laughable & they do have rather a lot of clout. They are understandably wedded to the top 3 at trials and I really don't see that changing.

                    Comment


                  • #14
                    Originally posted by drobbie View Post

                    id imagine we will have similar numbers to what we normally have as other will be invited through the world rankings
                    assuming that they are invited and our federation accepts

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      It's not an invitation - it's a qualification threshold!!!

                      The IAAF are really explicit about this, they expect 50% qualification by time, 50% qualification by rankings. As usual I think letsrun have got carried away with hyperbole, in that USATF haven't said they won't be facilitating 1-2-3 based on qualifying rankings too. But they've left that open.

                      Here's a spreadsheet that some of you may find interesting. It takes the IAAF world rankings (live) and then does some summing up to determine at what point the rankings cut off would potentially come if the IAAF wanted to get the number of athletes to to the Games that they've specified on their qualification system applying the max 3 per nation. It just shows you how big a pool of athletes some nations are *bound* to be picking from in their selection approach.

                      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

                      So for example, for the women's 200m, they'd current have to cut off at position 88 to get 56 athletes qualified (let's for a moment assume that there are no athletes qualified by time who are outside of the rankings - and given the difficulty of the rankings that's not a difficult assumption to make). Within that 88 of potential athletes, USA would have 31 women to select from, however they want to select. We would have 6, Jamaica 4 etc etc.

                      For the men's marathon (for some reason the women's version isn't working on my spreadsheet), they would have to go down to place 473 to get 80 on the start line. 196 Kenyans eligible (only 3 to be selected), 94 Ethiopians, 61 Japanese, 17 USA etc. 3 British athletes.

                      Of course, the reality won't be quite like this - in the top XX there will be injured athletes, athletes not selected by their NGBs etc, but it does give a broad idea of where the lines need to come in terms of rankings to allow for the participant volumes that the IAAF is looking to put in place. That's the key.

                      Now it's up to UKA etc to put selection processes in place which are fair and transparent, in the context of that IAAF qualification approach.

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