On our weekly conference call this morning, Jonathan Gault posed a great hypothetical. In 2016, Galen Rupp made his marathon debut at the US Trials. He ran 2:11:13. Let's say the course was in Atlanta which is hillier and he runs 2:11:33 - just off the standard. Would that one race have been enough to put him into the Olympics where he medalled?
Very likely it would have. I think too many keep forgetting that there is still a limit per country.....which is an IOC rule which is only enforced by the IAAF. So there can be 75 Kenyans and 50 Ethiopians ahead of the best american and those two countries still only take up 6 entries and we basically eliminate every other Kenyan and Ethiopian athlete from the rankings. As long as Rupp ends up qualified by ranking, he'd be eligible to compete as an athlete chosen by the US via whatever system they wish.