|Poster Formerly Known asGoober|
It seems ridiculous that Brannen, Warhurst or someone affiliated with him was not aware that they take mile conversions. Should Athletics Canada also not have confirmed his team selection since he won the trials and had the mile conversion from the Pre Classic? I find it very odd how he could go into the last week of the Canadian qualifying window not knowing he had already qualified.
I am not 100% sure but in the selection guidelines it says that mile conversions can be accepted as REPEAT performances so maybe he still needs to run the standard in a 1500.
Given that no one has had their selection confirmed by Athletics Canada, why would Nate? The document says selections will be done July 26th.
Further, if you read the selection criteria, Nate required either:
- a 'A' standard before June 25 and a 'B' standard after; or
- an 'A' standard after June 25.
Using the mile conversion (as specifically allowed by the AC document), he gets the 'A' standard pre-June 25. He then still needed to get a 'B' standard post-Nationals, which he didn't do until last week.
As a university graduate and professional athlete, is it not unreasonable for AC to expect that any questions an athlete might have regarding their qualification status and publicly available qualification criteria documents be promptly addressed to AC via phone or email (and not simply aired in FloTrack interviews)?
Do you honestly believe that the administrators, national coaches and athletes' representatives at Athletics Canada are actually scheming for ways to hamstring Canadian athletes?
Do you think they want to show up at major meets and say 'we could be leading a team of 40 athletes, but instead we'd rather be leading a team of 15 athletes'?
Well, it would be very surprising if they were 'scheming'. However, there actions in case after case after case give far too much grist for that mill. They may be the worst athletics (T&F) administration in the European/North American group (AK can be pretty bad).
wanna provide some examples? maybe they don't think its worth the money to send athletes to run one round?
The issue has nothing to do with "scheming". It has to do with the stupid notion that somehow setting very high standards, and then needing to repeat them, and not count standards from the year before, will magically make a lot of Canadians try harder, and run faster, and win a whole bunch of medals...
As opposed to the obvious correct methodology of being inclusive, trying to select larger teams, not smaller teams, and giving hope to the up-and-comers, and increasing the talent pool, and putting upward pressure on the people closer to the top. Without even mentioning putting people on the team, and then preparing to run well at Worlds, as opposed to running all over trying to make a Standard. Stuff that Canada used to do fairly well, all things considered...
They don't, but it's difficult to garner experience when you sit at home, even if you're qualified as far as the IAAF/IOC is concerned. Malindi Elmore ran within a second of the 1500m standard three times last year and was selected to the team, even though she had the A standard as far as the IOC was concerned from the previous year, because she needed to run it again in 2008, and she came within 0.07 at Paris. 0.07 in a 1500m, when you're not taking the spot of someone else, is close enough. It would have made more sense to award her the spot after she ran 4:07.07 in Paris, and let her train and rest instead of having her run race after race trying to run 0.07 seconds faster to meet a standard for AC and not the IOC.
Of course she wouldn't have been a medal candidate, but there is no more valuable experience than competing at the Olympics and I think it's stupid that AC's standards in the 1500m exceed those of the IOC and IAAF. It's not like the 100m or hurdles in the USA where there are dozens of people who have bettered the Olympic 'A' standard.
Here are a few examples....
Because of the convoluted Selection Criteria designed by some astronaut in Ottawa, there were exactly ZERO (0) Canadian distance runners selected and confirmed for the World Championships in Berlin, after the recent Canadian Trials (finished June 28th, same as USA Trials).
So, 6 weeks before the Worlds, no Canadian distance runner knows that they are, for sure, going to Berlin...
Here are the Canadian distance runners (track only), who were not only fully qualified according to the IAAF, but also showed up and ran well at Nationals, 5 wins, 1 2nd place, and a close 4th in a tactical race...
800 - Gary Reed, 1500 - Nate Brennan, Taylor Milne, Matt Lincoln, 10000 - Simon Bairu, Steeple.- Rob Watson,
W.1500 - Malindi Elmore.
Reed will go, Watson and Brennan - maybe, the others not so much hope. That is no way to build a system.
And, if you qualify for Worlds and Olympics, and don't make the final, you are some kind of immortal loser ???
Nice message to Canadian kids --- very healthy !!!
So, he Olympic experience from 2004 doesn't count?
And, if you notice AC's A standard is the same as the IAAF standard.
UH...Hell Yeah! You must not be from Canada. If you look back at athletes left off of teams for the past few years you'll see MANY IAAF eligible athletes sitting at home because Canadians have to adhere to ridiculous standards that NO other athlete in the world must achieve.
Perhaps you failed to notice that the IAAF window starts on January 1st, 2008, and the AC windows starts in April, 2009...Just in time for the Penn. Relays, where the relay teams made Standard - wow, that's a lucky coincidence...
Maybe you also didn't notice that even the USA accepts B standards, as does the IAAF, but not Canada... No, we have so many world class athletes, that we need to make the standards tougher...doh !
as opposed the usa's high goals of being the best non -africans in the world?
|ming ding xiong|
Why is it that any discussion about Canadian track always becomes a legalistic, semantic debate about standards?
It's worse than American discussions that explain how their B and C-list runners are going to win medals.
You must not look at qualification criteria for many other countries then.
Have a look at pretty well any other non-US country (say, NZ, Australia, Netherlands...) and compare.
As an initial point, not a single Canadian athlete, male or female, in any event has been "selected and confirmed" for Berlin. As the document clearly states, selection is done July 26th, not June 28th, even though some people have already fully qualified to be selected.
Full disclaimer: I'm not with Athletics Canada but I have followed the sport for a while, I have read AND understood the published criteria and I have read AND understood past public statements by AC and one of the athlete reps.
This is more evidence of far too many people rushing to complain without a) understanding that the sport does not exist in a vacuum; and b) actually reading the published qualification criteria.
For the first point, as much as we'd like to say funding is unlimited and without constraints, reality is different.
Look at AC's annual report. Notice how they get well over 50% of their income from public funding like Sport Canada.
Sport Canada is not a bottomless pit of money that they can dole out to anyone and everyone. They have a set amount of publicly money and must figure out how to allocate that money amongst dozen of different sporting organizations in Canada.
Say you are Sport Canada and have X dollars to fund sports. How do you decide how much of that money to give to AC versus Swimming Canada versus Rowing Canada versus Alpine Canada versus Skating Canada versus etc. etc?
Might you need some kind of objective criteria to determine whether you give that extra million dollars to one instead of another? What possible objective criteria might you use?
One could say 'give them money according to how big a team they send to the Olympics/World Championships'. Sure, that would be great and then AC can go with bare-bones IAAF standards and send as many people as possible.
But, keeping yourself as Sport Canada, you've got Rowing Canada (for example) coming to you and complaining that instead of giving that extra million to AC which they then used to send B standard people to Worlds where they bowed out in the first round, you could have given it to Rowing Canada which, unlike Athletics Canada, will actually get many Canadians on Olympic and World Championships medal podiums and hence have more pictures and articles on the front pages of Canadian newspapers (making the country feel good about itself and allowing politicos to look better).
So, still as Sport Canada, you realize you need to put some kind of criteria in place that focuses organizations on sending higher quality teams to the Big Show, not just bigger teams. You want to be able to get more bang (top finishes) for your buck.
You figure that by specifying criteria that puts out goals of having X percentage of the team finish in the top 8, top 12, top half, whatever, will result in smaller, but more competitive teams. Not just for AC, but for all several dozen sports you are responsible for.
We now come to AC's criteria. I'm sure officials/coaches with the organization would love to take a bigger team and probably are in agreement with most people here that a bigger team would probably be better for the development of many up and coming athletes.
But they also see that glaring line item on their financial statement that shows their Sport Canada funding and they know that if they send people to Worlds/Olympics who don't measure up, they are going to have difficulty justifying why they should get money instead of, say, Rowing Canada or Trampoline Canada or Freestyle Skiing Canada who actually bring home medals and top finishes (because the Canadian public doesn't care to acknowledge how track is a deeper, more competitive sport and that finishing 10th in the 1500 is a lot harder than finishing 3rd in the trampoline).
Reality is, AC has better metrics if they send a team of 20 with 8 top 12 finishes (40% of the team) than if they sent a team of 40 with 10 top 12 finishes (25% of the team).
That goes a long way to explaining why they have repeat performances and why they don't just go with IAAF B standards. You don't have to agree with that policy and philosophy to be able to understand why it exists.
One of the athlete reps to AC has publicly posted in the past how too many times AC was 'burned' by athletes who achieve A standard the year prior and then, for whatever reason, are not measuring up in the year of the big games (Worlds/Olympics).
In order to ensure that the people they send are actually performing at an A standard level this year, they shorten the qualification window to the current season.
Again, you don't have to agree with that policy to understand why they feel forced to take that stance.
On to the second point, the lack of actually reading the qualification criteria, specifically as it relates to the 1500 and Nate Brannen's situation.
Despite what some (including that quoted at the beginning), the selection criteria for 2009 are not "convoluted" and don't require a degree in astrophysics to be able to understand.
They are pretty straightforward, if you'd actually bother to read them. There are two ways an athlete can qualify:
i) Run 'A' standard after June 25th.
ii) Run 'A' standard between April and June 25th and run 'B' standard after June 25th.
Any problems understanding those two?
Now, if one were to read the qualification criteria (and the accompanying NTC document) with the view of how AC could get athletes ON the team instead of the view of how AC could use wiggle-words to keep athletes OFF the team, one could discern how straightforward Nate's situation actually is.
As far as the IAAF is concerned, he simply needs a minimum of a B standard in the 1500. That's all. Anything further is at the discretion of AC. They could specify that to qualify one also needs to win Miss Teen Canada and throw over 80m in the javelin and it is of no relevance to the IAAF.
So, to tie this back in with the previous points about why there is that specific paragraph in the NTC document about mile conversions. AC needs to see an athlete is running at an 'A' standard level in the current season, so unless you run that towards the end of the qualification period (after June 25th), they need to see you repeat a high level performance.
But they also know that the mile is really very similar to the 1500 and that someone who can run the mile at an A standard level can be considered to be an A standard level 1500m runner. So long as an athlete meets the minimum IAAF standard (B standard in the 1500), AC is willing to let them use a fast mile conversion as proof that they can repeat a high level performance (either for their required repeat A or B standard, whichever one they don't already have). I'm sure there is reasoning that they don't want to place unfair limitations on a Canadian athlete who is good enough to not only get in to such high level mile races as Prefontaine or the Golden League, but also run fast in those races, by making them stick to just 1500m races.
To wrap it all up, we can now look at exactly where Nate stands. First, review the two ways he could qualify listed above.
As of right now, he does not have an A standard performance after June 25th, so let's look at the second path to qualification.
He does have an explicit B standard in the 1500 after June 25th. This is good enough for the IAAF. Now he just needs to satisfy AC that he is able to repeat a high level of performance by also have an A standard prior to June 25th.
Well, he doesn't have a 1500m A standard, but, because of that paragraph in the NTC document allowing mile conversions for the purpose of repeat performances, he can use his Prefontaine mile to check off the required A standard from before June 25th.
Summary of Nate's position: he has met the IAAF standard AND he has met the Canadian criteria and is qualified to be selected along with the rest of the team July 26th.
Now, as to the question posed in the subject line of this thread. How did he not know?
Good question. He could have read the criteria as explained just above. Of course he may still have had some questions, so as a professional athlete, he logically should have just picked up the phone or keyboard and called/emailed Athletics Canada to specifically clarify where he stood.
If I were to have to guess, I'd say that whole process could have taken up at most maybe an hour of his time and I've yet to read of anyone (especially Nate himself) suggesting that he asked AC for clarification on the documents he presumably had read but only got a confusing or contradictory answer.
So that brings me to a final question, why didn't he (or anyone else connected with the sport who is so concerned about his qualification status or the supposedly confusion in the qualification criteria) not spend that little bit of time to ask the only people (Athletics Canada) who could give him a straight and direct answer as to what his status was?
Have ANY of the posters arguing that the documents are confusing or that they believe AC is looking for slippery words to use to keep Nate from going to Berlin actually asked AC themselves for clarification?
Or are they too afraid that in doing so, they just might get a clear answer and it would therefore remove their justification for going on the internet to complain about how bad and evil AC is and how they don't care and are only looking to screw athletes?