The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

How About a Real World Championships?

Jan 23rd, 2019
11:32 am PST

It’s funny that one of the first things written about the sport in 2019 is about the addition of mixed relays to the World Relays event and to the World Championships. Funny, ha ha, in that they are being added ostensibly to make the events more interesting for “fans”. 

How about we make the World Championships really interesting by having it be about THE BEST track and field athletes in the world? My point being that it’s time to have a true world event and not the knock off of the Olympics that we’ve been running since 1983. The Olympics were created as a “feel good” global competition. As such, EVERYONE gets to send athletes – regardless of how good they are. The result is that the first half of each event is spent “eliminating” individuals that really have no shot in the competition! 

That’s great for the Olympics, but it’s time for us to have a championship that focuses on what’s exciting about track and field – head to head competition. So, to that end, I propose a Worlds where annually the top 32 individuals in each event are invited for the ultimate showdown/meet. No byes. No previous champion, Diamond League champion (worthless in most cases), or any other made up you get a free pass individuals. Pick a cut off date and the top athletes on that day are given the opportunity to compete in the World Championships! 

Would put our best athletes on the track (and field) during the season to get this year’s marks. There would be a reason for athletes to compete early season. Especially if the “tie breaker” for athletes with identical marks is their next best mark – or even third best if that’s what it takes. At the same time it would eliminate some of the brutal national meets that get rid of a lot of the world’s best talent BEFORE Worlds. Ensuring that the biggest meet of the season is truly the hottest competition of the year! 

Will some nations dominate events? Yes they will. But if you have 6/7 of the world’s best in an event then you should. Will some nations get left out? Yes, but THAT is what the Olympics are for. The World Championships will then become like those for soccer and basketball where the truly best are competing. Three rounds of exciting competition in every heat. The potential for “upsets” in every race. Our sport is at its best, when our best are competing. This is how you make your biggest meet of the year exciting.. Not by mixing up men and women in competition. 

Worlds would immediately become must watch TV. Wall to wall action. No days off kind of competition. And by the way, invite the top 32 relays as well. More exciting than boy girl boy girl. IF the goal is truly to make Worlds better and more exciting, this is the way to go. 


One Response to “How About a Real World Championships?”

  1. Waynebo says:

    I agree 100%. We don’t need any gimmicks. We need leadership that loves the sport and understands what T&F fans want to see. TRACK & FIELD FANS!! The NBA doesn’t try to attract people who aren’t basketball fans. Why do we need gimmicks to attract new fans?! Just give us a great track meet with some intense competition. That’s what we want. In T&F, that IS the “wow” factor. We don’t need the “next Usain Bolt”, we need to see these young, hungry sprinters pushing each other down into the 19.3’s and 9.7’s. We need to see high jumpers pushing each other toward the 8-foot barrier. We need to see intense competition in the middle distance races (PLEASE, no more “sit & kick”) We just need HOT COMPETITION!
    That is all…

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