Last week those on the declaration list were told a minimum of 30 men would be selected in the men's and women’s 800. As expected when the start lists came out the women had 4 heats of 8 for a total of 32 women. However on the men’s side there were 3 heats of 7 and 1 heat of 6. However by the time this became known numbers 28,29, and 30 were already in Eugene getting ready to race on Thursday.
I think it is important to point out that these are not the pre-Madonna’s of our sport, they are the guys working their a*ses off every day after getting home from their real job, doing everything they can to continue racing at the elite level they are at and keep the dream alive.
All three athletes were at the track yesterday and obviously not happy, one even had a copy of the email where they were told there would be a minimum of 30 entrants. When the athletes demanded an explanation they were simply told that the selection committee decided they wanted 27 athletes instead of 30 and didn't need any rationale or to justify their decision. So now these three athletes who have all run 1:47.7 or faster will have to sit in the stands and watch the race they should be running in with 2 or 3 lanes open in every heat! Just makes me sick to think of how hard these guys worked to get to where they are and the position they are now in.
This is a HUGE injustice and pretty sad showing by the selections committee and USATF. So much for rewarding hard work and dedication to our sport.