There was some discussion on social media about unfair lane draws for the Mens 200m at the 2017 World Championships.
Here is the Start List for the Finals:
According to the rules,
How you place in the heats (i.e. Q or q) guarantees a spot in the next round, but your time will decide the lane draws.
The top 4 times are randomly drawn the middle 4 lanes (3-4-5-6 on a 8 lane track, or 4-5-6-7) and the last 4 times are randomly drawn the inside 2 and out 2 lanes (1-2-7-8 or 2-3-8-9 on a 9 lane track).
That is why Wayde van Niekerk had lane 9 in the 400m 2016 Rio Olympics. Read my recap from Rio 2016 here.
If you look at the summary sheet below:
.. you’ll see how 5th place Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, only 0.02 from 4th, is drawn into the latter 4 places, and unfortunately drew the very inside lane for the finals.
So the rule book is consistent.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to USA College meets! Save that for another Blog post!