IAAF toughened Olympic standards

March 13, 2019
In this April 25, 2016, file photo, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games displays the new official logos of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, left, and the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. The Tokyo Olympic clock has hit 500 days to go. Organizers marked the milestone on yesterday by unveiling the stylized pictogram figures for the Tokyo Olympics.
Jamaica’s gold medal winner Shelly-Ann Fraser and silver medal winners Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson celebrated after the women’s 100-metre final at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The IAAF, the world governing body for athletics, has released its new qualification standards for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and it has angered many players within the sport.

Male sprinters will have to run as fast as 10.05 seconds to get a lane in the sport’s marquee event. The time is significantly faster than the 10.16 seconds they were tasked to reach to perform at the Rio de Janeiro Games three years ago.

Maurice Wilson, the head coach of Sprintec Track Club, was surprised by the IAAF’s move as he believes it might deter a lot of persons from wanting to achieve one of the highest honours in the sport of becoming an Olympian.

“I am trying to understand the logic behind it. I thought the objective was to increase participation in terms of the individual events,” Wilson pondered. “I am not saying that you should lower the standards but they have to be reasonable. I believe we still need to popularise the sport some more, so it is important that the standards are attainable.”

He continued: “To achieve these standards, you have to periodise your programme a particular way. I think these standards are a bit high but we have to just wait and see what happens. It is important that we try to surpass the performances of previous times but it has to be done progressively.”

If athletes fail to meet these tough standards, they could still attain qualification through the IAAF new ranking systems.


“Athletes can qualify by virtue of his/her IAAF World Ranking position in the selected event at the end of the respective qualification period,” said a release from the IAAF a few days ago.

According to the world governing body, the ranking system is based on the two main elements of all track and field performances: the measured results of athletes (result score) and their placing during competitions (placing score). The combination of these elements provides the athletes’ performance for each competition in which they participate (performance score).

The period by which one may attain the new standards have also increased by two months.

“Athletes will have more opportunities to achieve the Olympic entry standards under the new system, which extends the qualification window by two months for most events. This will start on May 1, 2019 (instead of July 1, 2019), to include more international competitions such as the IAAF Diamond League, and end on June 29, 2020,” the release said.


Men Event Women

10.05 100m 11.15

20.24 200m 22.80

44.90 400m 51.35

1:45.20 800m 1:59.50

3:35.00 1500m 4:04.20

13:13.50 5,000m 15:10:00 27:28.00 10,000m 31:25.00

2:11.30 Marathon 2:29.30

8:22.00 3,000m

steeplechase 9:30.00

13.32 110/100H 12.84

48.90 400H 55.40

2.33 High Jump 1.96

5.80 Pole Vault 4.70

8.22 Long Jump 6.82

17.14 Triple Jump 14.32

21.10 Shot Putt 18.50

66.00 Discus 63.50

77.50 Hammer 72.50

85.00 Javelin 64.00

8,350 Decathlon/

Heptathlon 6420

1:21.00 20K Walk 1:31.00

3:50.00 50K walk N/A

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