If you are a male sprinter currently running 10.60, 21.50 or 47.50, you’d probably wish you could turn back the clock 50 years. That’s because you would qualify for the Olympics, assuming you are top 3 in your country.
Last year, I wrote about World Championship Performance Trends (Part 1).
Everyone is aware of world record progressions, going from 10.6 to 9.58 in 100 years, but few are aware what it takes to qualify for the Olympics.
T&FN printed up a nice summary (PDF) for all events, but I’ll just show the men’s sprints for now.
I am glad to see with better coaching, technology, and nutrition, we are actually getting faster. However, the average North American population is actually getting fatter, thanks to child obesity. And bad choices. READ: Why Am I Fat? Here is the Simple Answer.
Since 1996, with the exception of the 100 meters, you needed the IAAF B standard to qualify for the Olympics. The 100 meters top 72 runners go straight into the Quarter Finals, and the non qualifiers must run a preliminary round to grab the last 8 spots of the 10-heat quarter finals. (80 –> 24 –> 8)
Prior to 1992, one athlete from each nation were allowed in each event.
In our lifetime, we’ll see the IAAF “A” standard set at 9.99 for the 100 meters! YIKES!