IOC Threatens to Cut Track and Field Events
10,000 meters, shot put among events on the chopping block
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Big news from the International Olympic Committee: Five Olympic track and field events are in danger of being cut from the competition, and the number-one event at risk is the 10,000-meter foot race.
The other events under review include one of the men’s race walks (likely the 20K), the 200 meters, shot put, and triple jump, according to The Age. The IOC’s review is based on a desire to slim down the number of athletes competing in track and field so that other sports can be added while maintaining total athlete numbers.
“The 10,000 is not really part of the track-and-field calendar any more other than at the Olympics and Worlds so there was an argument against it,” said Brian Roe, a senior international technical official at the Olympics and world championships, according to The Age. “The feeling was that the main protagonists are nearly all road runners so if we are to continue with the distance, why not have an event to which millions around the world can directly relate—a 10-kilometer road race. That doesn’t drop an event, but it makes it more relevant—which is a key IOC objective.”
Over recent years, quality 10,000-meter races have been cut from the large European meets in increasing regularity, making the distance seldom contested outside of world championships and Olympics. Running counter to this trend, however, has been a domestic response. The Payton Jordan Invitational, held every spring on the Stanford University campus, perennially produces fast times, and the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, hosted a special distance evening the night before its Diamond League program last spring. During that race, American Galen Rupp, the 2012 Olympic silver-medalist, set the national record of 26 minutes, 44.36 seconds. It stands as the fastest time in the world in 2014.