IAAF Announces 2017 World Championships Entry Standards — Which Ones Got Easier and Which Ones Got Harder?

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By LetsRun.com
November 30, 2016

As we enter the month of December, it’s time to look ahead to next year, and the biggest running event of 2017 will undoubtedly be the IAAF World Championships in London, which will be held August 4-13. Earlier this year, the IAAF released entry standards for the 10,000, marathon, walks and multi-events, and today the IAAF released the remaining standards. We’ve posted all the standards below:

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So how do those standards compare to the 2016 Olympics and 2015 Worlds? We’re glad you asked. We compared the marks from all three championships below:

Men

Red text denotes the standard is harder than in both 2015 and 2016
Green text denotes the standard is easier than in both 2015 and 2016

2017 Worlds2016 Olympics2015 Worlds
10010.1210.1610.16
20020.4420.5020.50
40045.5045.4045.50
8001:45.901:46.001:46.00
15003:36.00 (3:53.40 mile)3:36.203:36.20 (3:53.30 mile)
5k13:22.6013:25.0013:23.00
10k27:45.0028:00.0027:45.00
Marathon2:19:002:19:002:18:00
3k steeple8:32.008:30.008:28.00
110 hurdles13.4813.4713.47
400 hurdles49.3549.4049.50
HJ2.30m2.29m2.28m
PV5.70m5.70m5.65m
LJ8.15m8.15m8.15m
TJ16.80m16.85m16.90m
SP20.50m20.50m20.45m
Discus65.00m65.00m65.00m
Hammer76.00m77.00m76.00m
Javelin83.00m83.00m82.00m
Decathlon810081008075
20k race walk1:24:001:24:001:25:00
50k race walk4:06:004:06:004:06:00


Women

Red text denotes the standard is harder than in both 2015 and 2016
Green text denotes the standard is easier than in both 2015 and 2016

2017 Worlds2016 Olympics2015 Worlds
10011.2611.3211.33
20023.1023.2023.20
40052.1052.2052.00
8002:01.002:01.502:01.00
15004:07.50 (4:26.70 mile)4:07.004:06.50 (4:25.20 mile)
5k15:22.0015:24.0015:20.00
10k32:15.0032:15.0032:00.00
Marathon2:45:002:45:002:44:00
3k steeple9:42.009:45.009:44.00
100 hurdles12.9813.0013.00
400 hurdles56.1056.2056.20
HJ1.94m1.93m1.94m
PV4.55m4.50m4.50m
LJ6.75m6.70m6.70m
TJ14.10m14.15m14.20m
SP17.75m17.75m17.75m
Discus61.20m61.00m61.00m
Hammer71.00m71.00m70.00m
Javelin61.40m62.00m61.00m
Heptathlon620062006075
20k race walk1:36:001:36:001:36:00

Some comments:

  • In total, in 14 events the standard is easier than it was in both 2015 and 2016 while in five events the standard is harder. Then there’s the men’s 1500, where the 1500 standard got harder but the mile standard (which can also be used to qualify at Worlds) actually got easier compared to 2015.
  • It’s important to remember how the qualifying procedure changes between World and Olympic years. At the 2016 Olympics, any mark achieved from May 1, 2015, to July 11, 2016, could be used to qualify (the window was slightly longer for the marathon, walks and multis). For Worlds, however, the window is shorter: all qualifying marks for the 2017 Worlds must be achieved between October 1, 2016, and July 23, 2017. The good news for American athletes is that, unlike in 2016, they’ll have a month to chase the standard after USAs as USAs will be held June 22-25.
  • It’s a little strange to us that so many events have a tougher standard in 2017 than 2016 as you’d think that, with more athletes wanting to compete at the Olympics than Worlds, the Olympic standard would have to be tougher. But perhaps the IAAF felt the field sizes were too large at the Olympics and wanted to trim them for Worlds next year.
  • One event that drew our eye was the 10,000 meters. David Monti asked us on Twitter whether we thought 27:45 and 32:15 were equivalent and after some analysis, we have concluded that they are not. Some stats:
    In 2016, 51 men ran 27:45 while 87 women ran 32:15.
    In 2015, 45 men ran 27:45 while 76 women ran 32:15.
    As percentages of the world record, 27:45 is 5.54% off the men’s WR (26:17.53) while 32:15 is 10.10% off the women’s WR (29:17.45).
    In Rio (where the standard was also 32:15), there were 37 women in the 10,000 field, 29 of whom were either lapped or dropped out. That was only slightly larger than the men’s field (34) but the men’s Olympic standard was 28:00; in 2015, when the Worlds standard was 27:45 (same as it is in 2017), there were only 27 men in the field. In the women’s race at 2015 Worlds (where the standard was 32:00), there were 25 women in the field.

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