Interesting article from the IAAF Council Meeting notes, Monaco – 20 November, 2009. It states under the TRACK EVENTS:
- No more than three rounds for any event
- A preliminary qualification round of men’s and women’s 100m to include only unqualified athletes
- Relays spread over at least three days
- Semi-Finals and Finals in same session for 100m, 100mH, 110mH
In my opinion, 3 rounds instead of 4 is really targeting the “tourist athletes”.
In the Men’s 100 meters at the 2009 Berlin World Championships, there were 20 performances slower than 11 seconds with nine personal bests ranging from 11.00 to 12.29 seconds. These “extra” athletes guarantee a 4th round of races. Why?
Here are the rules.
For 8 lane events (on a 9 lane track) in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 100mH, 110mH, and 400mH, the magic number is 25 and 81 declared entries.
Up to 80 athletes requires 3 rounds, with a 24 person Semi-Final, and 8 person Final.
Over 81 athletes requires 4 rounds, with a 40 person Quarter-Final, a 16 person Semi-Final, and 8 person Final.
- 24 entries = 2 rounds with 3 heats of 8 runners, with the “2P2T” rule (top 2 Places and fastest 2 Times on non-automatic qualifiers) This is the same method for the 16 team 4x100m relay qualification.
- 25 or more = 3 rounds of 4 heats or 3P4T. Advancing to the Semi-Finals are 16 athletes.
- 80 entries = 3 rounds of 10 heats or 2P4T. Advancing to the “3 heat” Semi-Final consists of 24 athletes.
- 81 or more = 4 rounds of 11 heats (or more) or 3P7T. Advancing to the “5 heat” Quarter-Finals consists of 40 athletes.
My guess is the Top 72 ranked athletes will get a “bye” from the Preliminary Round, and the other 20-30 athletes will fight (and qualify) for the final 8 spots, making an 80 person Quarter Final of 10 heats.
Honestly, who’s going to show up for the Day 1 morning events to watch these races?
Can Usain Bolt do the Triple Crown?
Can Usain Bolt ever win 3 Golds in the 100-200-400 at the same Olympics?
With 3 rounds, it certainly helps in his favour with only 9 races plus relays.
I discussed this fantasy in my previous post Proposal to the IAAF – Scheduling the 100 200 400 for Usain Bolt so anything is possible. The IAAF adjusted the schedule for Michael Johnson in 1996 and he had 8 races in 6 days for the 200-400 double.
Scheduling meets for those who want to double (or triple) is always a challenge, even at the Masters level.
The 24 athlete Semi-Final – Stacked Fields
This is a topic for debate. With 3 races, the top 2 and 2 best times advance to the finals.
What happens when you have a stacked field in a single heat?
We saw this with Gary Reed at the 2009 Berlin WC 800 meters, with Reed failing to advance to the finals.
I guess you have to go hard or go home.
Speaking of 800m…
4 Rounds for the 800m?
This discussion is from the LetsRun message boards.
Even back in the boycotted games of 1984, the 800 meters had over 80 declared athletes with 4 rounds.
Take a look at Sebastian Coe’s resume from those games:
- 3 August 1984 800m 1:45.71 1h Los Angeles, USA Olympic Games
- 4 August 1984 800m 1:46.75 3qf Los Angeles, USA Olympic Games
- 5 August 1984 800m 1:45.51 1sf Los Angeles, USA Olympic Games
- 6 August 1984 800m 1:43.64 2 Final Los Angeles, USA Olympic Games
- 9 August 1984 1500m 3:45.30 2h Los Angeles, USA Olympic Games
- 10 August 1984 1500m 3:35.81 3sf Los Angeles, USA Olympic Games
- 11 August 1984 1500m 3:32.53 1 Final Los Angeles, USA Olympic Games
To me, this is an amazing feat of endurance.