South of the Border


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South of the Border

Postby tandfman » Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:18 am

Does anyone have a timetable for that meet in Mexico City May 3?
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Re: South of the Border

Postby dl » Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:43 am

http://www.grandprixmexico.com/

Click on "programa"

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Re: South of the Border

Postby tandfman » Mon Apr 21, 2003 12:56 pm

So one could easily fly down Saturday morning, see the evening meet, and come back Sunday morning.

Very tempting.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby dl » Mon Apr 21, 2003 2:14 pm

Fly down from where? Houston? Mexico City isn't all that close to most major cities in the U.S.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby tandfman » Mon Apr 21, 2003 3:05 pm

>Fly down from where? Houston? Mexico City isn't
>all that close to most major cities in the U.S.<

Hey, dl, you're talking to a guy who has flown coast-to-coast for one-day invitationals that looked a lot less promising than this one. That having been said, I just checked the air fares and they're very steep, so if I can't get there with frequent flyer miles, I probably won't go.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 21, 2003 3:29 pm

tandfman wrote:
Hey, dl, you're talking to a guy who
>has flown coast-to-coast for one-day
>invitationals that looked a lot less promising
>than this one.>>

Get it through your heads: the "promise" of this meet
falls under the category of "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" Yes, there are going to be some studs there, but in general they're not going head-to-head and the "fast" marks they put up really aren't. As I posted earlier today on anohter thread:

<<..... the real tragedy of insane altitude-aided marks isn't that the screw up the all-time lists, it's that athletes/coaches/fans don't realize why the marks were so good and the athlete is doomed to spend forever wondering why he/she can't duplicate it.>>

Don't call this meet "promising": it's a statistical disaster waiting to happen.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby gh » Mon Apr 21, 2003 3:44 pm

The previous poster's "statistical disaster" line really resonates with me. I've insisted for years that one of the things that really contributed to track's nosedive in popularity in the '70s (along with automatic timing and the switch to meters) was the interruption of the "normal" progression of the WR in events that were so popular in the U.S. (men's 100,200, 400, LJ).

Where the public used to get a steady diet of new WR holders (virtually all Americans) in these events, suddenly things were quiet. Too quiet. The rest, sadly, is history.

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Re: South of the Border

Postby tandfman » Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:04 pm

>the "fast" marks they put up really aren't<

>fans don't realize why the marks were so good<

Who cares? Was the track world ever more excited about performances than in 1968 in Echo Summit and Mexico City? Everyone know why the marks were so good, but everyone was giddy about seeing them and reading about them.

If you knew that a couple of world records were going to be set on May 3, wouldn't you want to be there? I would. Of course it may not happen, but if it did, T&FN would recognize them as WR's and so would everyone else. And any fans who thought about going but decided not to would be kicking themselves, even though they knew perfectly well that the records were altitude aided.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby gh » Mon Apr 21, 2003 4:30 pm

tandfman wrote:


>If you knew that a couple of world records were
>going to be set on May 3, wouldn't you want to be
>there? I would. >>

I wouldn't: I can't consider fast sprint marks at Mexico City--IAAF ratification or not--as having any more "reality" than Oba Thompson's wind/altitude aided mark of 9.69 in El Paso.

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Re: South of the Border

Postby dl » Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:28 pm

Let's look at the bigger picture here. Meets are folding left and right, especially in Europe. It's tough for athletes, except for those at the very, very top, to make a good living.

Now, Mexico has a big star in Ana Guevara. Companies want to capitalize on her, so they help sponsor a track meet. Where else would you have it in Mexico if not the capital city (and the most populous city in the world)?

I'd love for this meet to become a permanent fixture on the track circuit, but I know that'll be tough.

But to dismiss the meet simply because it might produce a few outlying altitude times is simply lame.

I guarantee no World Records will be set, except perhaps the women's 300. And that would be a good thing, producing some much-need publicity leading up to the rest of the outdoor season.

Montgomery had a 2.0mps tailwind in his WR in Paris. According to T&FN's Big Green Book, that 2.0mps wind is more of an aid than Mexico City's altitude (assuming no wind).

Heck, Michael Johnson's 19.32 might never be broken anyway, let's HOPE Gatlin gets a 2.0mps wind on May 3!

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Re: South of the Border

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Apr 21, 2003 5:49 pm

Not a black and white issue, but I'm inclined to agree with Dan. What would you do otherwise -- invalidate all records (in affected events) set above 1000 meters elevation? (How about low-altitude aided distance marks set below 100 meters elevation?) More fan disappointments when they see a great mark declared "illegal" as we see now with the big letdown when a great mark is announced to have been wind-aided. (I am not, however, arguing against the long-standing rules on wind-assistance, though they are in some ways regrettable.) And place numerous potential sites "off-limits" as they would be inherently illegal. Altitude helps in some events, no doubt, but there are many external factors and variables that affect any athletic performance. The fact is that there is a wide variety of sites on the surface of the earth, at different elevations, which have historically been determined as suitable for human habitation. And it is only natural to have athletic competitions where we live. More people live in Mexico City than any other city in the world. We simply cannot legislate perfectly uniform conditions for record purposes.

Some people admire Carl Lewis for not taking advantage of altitude to set a long jump world record in his prime, even though the existing record (at that time) was itself set at high altitude. I found it frustrating that the greatest long jumper in history never got the world record simply because he refused to combine his transcendent talents with the best possible jumping conditions. I wish he had.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby oldvaulter » Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:21 pm

>The previous poster's "statistical disaster"
>line really resonates with me. gh

As it might well resonate with any statistician, including myself. I rarely disagree with gh, but I cringe to think of further restricting record-setting opportunities. We have long-establish guidelines for wind-assistance in certain events -- so be it. Beyond that, I'd recommend no further restrictions (leaving the drug issue out of it for the purpose of this discussion -- this is about external conditions prevailing at the time of competition). As an old pole vaulter, I can tell you with first-hand authority that wind can be a big factor in vaulting, but thankfully no wind-aided restrictions. But when there is a big tailwind prevailing, most vaulters will raise their grip, move back their step, grab a bigger pole, and go for that big one. Why not? That's part of the game, and it's fun. We seize the opportunites when we get them. (Wind can also upset timing and blow off the crossbar, arguably offsetting the advantage gained in the runup...) Wind is probably a much bigger factor in the discus throw, and I am grateful we don't hear spoil-sport curmudgeons arguing to invalidate "wind-assisted" discus marks (which include most of the big records). I remember as a boy going out to Mt. Sac to watch Oerter, Sylvester, Danek, etc., go for big ones in that famous "quartering wind". Great sport!

I, for one, will be rooting for Allyson to run 21.99 in Mexico City, and I'll let out a big cheer if she gets it!
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Re: South of the Border

Postby gh » Mon Apr 21, 2003 8:53 pm

old vaulter wrote, in two separate posts

>Not a black and white issue, but I'm inclined to
>agree with Dan. What would you do otherwise --
>invalidate all records (in affected events) set
>above 1000 meters elevation?>>

<< I rarely disagree with gh, but I cringe to think of further restricting record-setting opportunities. We have long-establish guidelines for wind-assistance in certain events -- so be it>>

Invalidating all sprint records above 1000m (actually, I'd go for 500) is exactly what I'd do. And exactly what IAAF should have done when Bert Nelson start flogging the idea back in the late '70s. I've nothing against restricgint LEGITIMATE WR opportunitites, but we need to recognize that there are extremes which need to be factored out.

I actually belive the wind rules need to be lessened (say 5mps), but believe some form of stricture has to be in place. Likewise, has to be an altitude limit.

Let's say there was no wind rule. After Hayes held the WR for 10 years (which is silly, in the context of the ability to snip a mere 0.01 off), the next WR holder is--EXCUSE ME?!--William Snoddy at 9.87. And he holds the WR for 10 years. Then Carl Lewis (who can argue with that?) has a 6 year run, but from 1996 until now, the WR holder is Obadele Thompson. And let me know when somebody breaks that 9.69, won't you?

I'd like to think this "proves" the value of having a wind rule (under my rule, neither Snoddy nor Thompson would be accepted--both being over 5mps--but you could still have a wind rule). Why not an altitude one, particularly when far fewer significant sites have an altitude problem, compared to those where wind can crop up.

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Re: South of the Border

Postby Guest » Wed Apr 23, 2003 8:12 pm

<< I
>rarely disagree with gh, but I cringe to think of
>further restricting record-setting opportunities.

I rarely agree with gh :o) but his point below is perhaps the most significant in this whole discussion:

>particularly when far fewer significant sites
>have an altitude problem, compared to those where
>wind can crop up.

We're talking about a handful of sites with major meets: Mexico City, Sestriere, Colorado Springs, South Africa, a couple others. The aid is so great, and the damage done to lists and records equally so, that it seems just too damn logical not to institute an altitude limit.

The meets will still have value: marks are still marks, and people can get excitied about altitude-aided performances that surpass record standards, just as we all did when Flojo ran her windy 10.49.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby oldvaulter » Wed Apr 23, 2003 10:31 pm

>particularly when far fewer significant sites
>have an altitude problem, compared to those where
>wind can crop up.

But this is considering world-class competitions only. If gh's 500m (too restrictive!) limit were actually imposed, every high school in my area would be over the limit. Hundreds of colleges and thousands of high schools around the country would be "illegal" sites. Could you even set a "legal" school record at your own school?

dl states:
>Montgomery had a 2.0mps tailwind in his WR in >Paris. According to T&FN's Big Green Book, that >2.0mps wind is more of an aid than Mexico City's >altitude (assuming no wind).

But gh wants 500m altitude limit and 5mps wind limit! Seems way out of proportion, with extremely restrictive altitude limit and very permissive wind limit.
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Re: South of the Border

Postby Donley » Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:51 pm

>>particularly when far fewer significant
>sites
>have an altitude problem, compared to
>those where
>wind can crop up.

But this is
>considering world-class competitions only. If
>gh's 500m (too restrictive!) limit were actually
>imposed, every high school in my area would be
>over the limit. Hundreds of colleges and
>thousands of high schools around the country
>would be "illegal" sites. Could you even set a
>"legal" school record at your own school?

dl
>states:
>Montgomery had a 2.0mps tailwind in his
>WR in >Paris. According to T&FN's Big Green Book,
>that >2.0mps wind is more of an aid than Mexico
>City's >altitude (assuming no wind).

But gh
>wants 500m altitude limit and 5mps wind limit!
>Seems way out of proportion, with extremely
>restrictive altitude limit and very permissive
>wind limit.

A few points here. I think first we should restrict this type of conversation to "world" records. The legality of high school, college or any other level should be up to the people involved. I actually think GH is off base with his suggestion of 5.0 mps and 500 meters. I would vote to leave the wind limits alone and make it 500 or 1000 meters. The real problem is not necessarily the 100 meters. Jonas Mureika has done some research that suggests Mexico City is probably in excess of .2 seconds of aid for the 200 meters. If we make it .4 for the 400 and 1.6 for 4x400 then I believe those are the events that "really" have a problem
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