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Alex Smith

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Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:25 pm

Alex Smith missed out on selection for Daegu because he didn't have the required qualifying standard and meet the criteria laid down by UKA. He won the trials at Birmingham with a personal best of 73.26, just 74cm short of the 'B' standard, with an infield generally understood to be higher than the circle and which could reduce distances by around a metre. Of course, it was not the required standard.

A few days later in a small meeting in Hull we had the following results:

Hammer Circle Midweek Challenge - Hull, 3 Aug 2011
Men
Hammer
1 Alex Smith 74.62 6.03.88 Sale Harriers Manchester
2 James Bedford 68.98 29.12.88 Birchfield Harriers / Leeds Metropolitan University

Women
Discus
1 Lois Earl 32.74 20.07.91 U23 Kingston upon Hull / Hull University

The result for Alex Smith is included in the IAAF rankings, TOPS rankings and the Hammer Circle rankings but not on the Power of 10. Perhaps someone can explain why? Every year we have similar competitions with one or two in an age group and yet these performances are included. Is there a rule that says there has to be a minimum of 3 in a competition? I've seen a few hurdles races this year with less than 3 in a race yet these have been included in the rankings.

As far as UKA selection criteria are concerned they have a list of domestic meets where qualifying performances count. No similar criteria are stated for performances abroad. Why? UKA required 2 'B' standards to be considered for selection and yet at least one other was selected with one 'B' standard as there is some discretion. I would have hoped that if the Hull 'B' standard had been accepted then discretion on his uphill performance when winning the trials would have been exercised.

So, why is the result not in the Power of 10 yet is included in all the other ranking sites? What are the rules regarding number of competitors? Is there some other reason that results from this meeting do not count? Why can very small overseas meetings count for selection purposes and not similar ones in this country?

Too late for Alex to be selected but interested to get some clarity on the above.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Ursus » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:50 pm

No idea what the precise rules are, but isn't there a bigger picture here in terms of encouraging our throwers in an event where we have been lamentable over the years? It isn't like taking Alex would have deprived anyone else of the place....that would have been a different story. Some judicious rule interpretation should have been applied.

On the subject of small comps, I remember that Neil McClellan set a jav PB a few years ago in a single person "competition", and I got shouted down on the jav club site when I queried whether it ought to stand. I think that mark counted in the official rankings, but am prepared to be corrected on that.

Memo to Alex. You're clearly good enough....just get the mark nailed early next season.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby mump boy » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:56 pm

this has been discussed in another thread, I think the consensus was that it wasn't a valid meet. It would have made more sense to have made sure that marks would be accepted before taking part
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:02 am

mump boy wrote:this has been discussed in another thread, I think the consensus was that it wasn't a valid meet. It would have made more sense to have made sure that marks would be accepted before taking part


But why was it not a valid meeting? Is it just down to the low number of competitors or some other reason? Why is the performance on other ranking sites? Lots of events have one or two competitors but their performances count so what was different about this one?
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby mump boy » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:22 am

Geoff wrote:
mump boy wrote:this has been discussed in another thread, I think the consensus was that it wasn't a valid meet. It would have made more sense to have made sure that marks would be accepted before taking part


But why was it not a valid meeting? Is it just down to the low number of competitors or some other reason? Why is the performance on other ranking sites? Lots of events have one or two competitors but their performances count so what was different about this one?


Maybe there weren't qualified officials, maybe it was downhill, maybe you have to have more competitors. I don't know but i would be very surprised and disappointed if he wasn't selected and the mark was valid.

My point is that whether it would be considered should have beeen the primary concern before he even took part
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby BigGut » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:02 am

I may be unpopular for saying this but I wholly agree that the mark should not stand for qualification purposes. I think this is particularly pertinent in field events. If you are going to allow any measured throw or jump to count, regardless of where it is set and in what comp then you are creating a system which is open to abuse.

For example a high jumper needs the A standard. So they get their club to set up nightly "competitions" where they come in at the A standard height. They do this every night where the weather is favourable and get over it once in the 200 attempts they take throughtout the season. Sure they have cleared the height, but is it really in a competition?

The same could be said of throws, basically measure every throw made in training and class it as a competition and you only need to hit that one magic throw and off you go to the games. Bev has posted before about some huge training throws Brett put out, should he have measured them and submnitted them as qualifying marks?

So I can see why there need to be rules around what actually counts as a qualifying mark, let's have people attain them in competition where the pressure is on to attain them, rather than by having events created to provide no pressure opportunities to basically make as many attempts as you like.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby bevone » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:32 am

I think that many people achieve their qulaifying marks at set up meets i.e. only one event, 2 comps sometimes so you are gaurenteed 12 throws at a venue where there are good conditions. We went to Chula vista wher many throw big pbs and brett threw his pb at the time but also threw 65m fixed foot warm up and over 66m with a reverse as the guys measurign told us and TBH - it wasnt that windy but in a relaxed comp with good throweres. The next week was a proper meet witha full programme and in a good wind brett threw over 220 warming up (which is over 67m) but as it was relatively early season he rushed things a bit and 'only threw 63.8ish. Even Carl Myerscough said that he looked as he was trying to force it when he looked easy at 220feet. I have to be honest I thought he was going to do something big like 68/69m becuase he was throwing 65m every session and over the 200 ft line (approx 61m) and sometimes doing that off half turns.

Ironically, the guys based at chula vista threw 62ish at best at the time went to hawaii to get better conditions and one of them has recently thrown 68/69m there.

The week we came back from the US - Brett threw at Eton, on the outside ring, uphill and if anything a tail wind and threw 61.92 which was nice throw and in a head wind would have been at least 64m and in a good head wind at least an A qualifier. He also went to other meets in the rain and howling tail winds which like the GP's is a comp not a pb fest like picked venues.

Discus more than any throws events depends upon what you can throw in a stadium when it matters. The reent Avia GP was not won with a great distance as I do not believe London 2012 will as it will not be particulalry hot and they will eb our conditions which I think will play ionto our hands. I believe we can get three finalists in 2012 and I also believe that we have got a good shot at the three lads getting 62m plus in qualifying but I think we could equally get three throwing 61m which may not be enough. The men shot and discus are of a quite highstandard at present, in world temrs, otherwise the other throws standards and depth have plummetted. I think we should be sending our best throwers to the worlds to give them a chance for next year to make finals. Alex in the saem postion as Brett last eyar when they didnt send hi to the europeans as he got his 2nd B standard too late!
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby benn » Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:15 am

Strangely enough I find myself agreeing with BG on the matter of competitions like this ,but it happens and gets on Po10 .Many a time you see "invitational meets" or minor "opens" that are only open to an athletes training group which allows them to get marks because they include enough athletes .Always amazing how many pb's and sb's are set in these type of meetings :wink:
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby srb » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:26 pm

I'm not a thrower but it seems to be a strange mindset to me to accept these as pbs. It just seems like accepting training throws as pbs.
But as i said, I'm not a thrower and i don't think like a thrower.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Ursus » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:07 pm

srb wrote:I'm not a thrower but it seems to be a strange mindset to me to accept these as pbs. It just seems like accepting training throws as pbs.
But as i said, I'm not a thrower and i don't think like a thrower.


Not really any different from running in a last ditch paced race to get a qualifying standard....few moan about that.

If it was set up as competition at outset, rather than a training session that happened to go well, then I don't have a huge problem with it.

But yes, I'd rather have seen him do it in a bigger, recognised meet just to avaodi all this. As I am sure would everyone else, not least Alex himself.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby bevone » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:36 pm

I dont think anyone cliams training throws as pb's - htye are an indication of how far you can throw dn usually a bit further in comp. When you throw a pb in a decathlon, that your not entered in - is the strangest PB ive read i.e a shot putter threw it in a decathlon! Many PBs are thrown in extraordinary conditions in the throws whic is hwy many people under perform at the majors
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:58 pm

I started this thread not so much to justify Alex Smith's throw for qualifying purposes but to raise, in general, the apparent anomalies between certain types of competitions home and abroad, acceptance for ranking purposes and yes issues over qualifying performances.

Sprinters can go to the continent to run at near altitude or to a meet where favourable winds are guaranteed but if they did a Lee Valley sprints meet it would not count for qualifying purposes. Brett can seek out several small throws meets in Sweden but if he went to Aberdare, Carmarthen or a throws meet anywhere else in this country his performance would not count for qualifying purposes.

For ranking purposes there are many occasions where very small scale meets give valid performances. I would just like to know why the meet in Hull has apparently not been accepted. Is it low numbers or unqualified officials? Did it have a licence/permit? Why is it on some ranking sites but not on others?

I noticed Alex threw 72+ in Hungary on the 13th August so he's in good sold form and hopefully a legitimate Olympic qualifying throw will happen soon.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:02 pm

Just looked on the Power of 10 and his 74.62 is now listed! So, I assume it was a legitimate competition. Is it an Olympic qualifying performance?
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby jjimbojames » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:21 pm

Geoff wrote:Just looked on the Power of 10 and his 74.62 is now listed! So, I assume it was a legitimate competition. Is it an Olympic qualifying performance?

Something not considered thus far IIRC, but these meets do actually have to send the results in - it could well be that the meet organisers just hadn't got round to doing it / didn't know they had to
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:32 pm

jjimbojames wrote:
Geoff wrote:Just looked on the Power of 10 and his 74.62 is now listed! So, I assume it was a legitimate competition. Is it an Olympic qualifying performance?

Something not considered thus far IIRC, but these meets do actually have to send the results in - it could well be that the meet organisers just hadn't got round to doing it / didn't know they had to


There may have been a delay but it was on the IAAF site very quickly! The question now is whether such performances should count as qualifying marks and if not why similar meetings abroad are counted?

Looking at the Olympic qualifying criteria laid down by UKA this will not count as they are asking for 2 'B' marks next year from April. I wonder if the trip to Hungary was funded by UKA in order to give him a chance of getting another qualifying distance and adding him to the squad?
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby BigGut » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Geoff,

It is probably really cynical, but going abroad to a comp to achieve the qualifier at a small meeting is possibly not as, and I don't mean that any individual performance is dodgy, "suspect" as doing it a small comp over here. Lets be frank, people could get their club or coach to set up a "competition" over here at will any night of the work. Travelling to a competition overseas which is a specialist single discipline is not the same as this. It is an athlete travelling to compete in a genuine competition. I guess, and it is guessing, that the rules on competition qualifiers are written with this in mind.

I have to be frank and say that if an athlete cannot throw the B standard in a proper competition then they probably shouldn't be going to the champs. If you fail to perform at the world champs you can't set up another world champs next Friday evening to have another go and in my opinion qualification should reflect this.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:45 pm

According to the UKA criteria:
Performances must be achieved during competitions organised or authorised by the IAAF, its Area
Associations or it Member Federations. Domestic competitions marks will only be recognised if they are
achieved in the following competitions: the Trials; UKA domestic televised event programme; domestic
internationals; the Home Country Championships; the British Universities (BUCs) Championships; UKA
UK Challenge Series events including Event Specific competitions such as the British Milers Club and
Jumps & Throws series.

It has occurred to me it is possible to set a British record at a meeting not specified above but for it not to count as a qualifying performance! It is possible to compete in a well organised and legitimate meeting in this country throw the qualifying distance but for it not to count. Yet go abroad and their seems little to stop someone from throwing in a small local meeting and gain a qualifying standard.

If a competition conforms to IAAF/UKA rules with appropriate IAAF/UKA officilas in a IAAF/UKA licenced facility then it should surely be treated as equal to similar competitions abroad. As I said, it's possible to throw a British (or Welsh/Scottish) record in say a Welsh League match or a Stretford Open meeting but does not count as a qualifying performance. Seems odd to me!
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Ursus » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:09 pm

On a sort of related subject, the IAAF rankings have Lee Doran as our top spear thrower. Campbell's 80m effort isn't there.

Admin c*ck up, or something to do with the fact that it was set in qualifying? Or is the most plausible explanation that they don't recognise "cheap" performances at Bedford? :wink:
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Ursus » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:14 pm

Just another observation on Smith. Only 4 younger men have thrown further this year than his 74m effort, so he's really right up there.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby BernardII » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:08 pm

Ursus wrote:On a sort of related subject, the IAAF rankings have Lee Doran as our top spear thrower. Campbell's 80m effort isn't there.

Admin c*ck up, or something to do with the fact that it was set in qualifying? Or is the most plausible explanation that they don't recognise "cheap" performances at Bedford? :wink:


Or maybe it was because he was competing as a guest and wasn't listed in the main BUCS results?
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Exile » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:25 pm

Geoff - I have to say I 100% agree with you. I have no great problem with UKA stipulating that qualifying performances have to be achieved in specified meetings (although I would prefer it if they simply specified that meetings had to have appropriately graded officials), but it is a striking anomoly that while having a list of UK meetings they allow pretty much any meet abroad. I am 100% certain that some of the meetings in far flung places are no better organised or any more "legitimate" than very minor meetings in the UK, such as the Stretford Opens that you cite. I think future selection policies should resolve this by either stating IAAF or EAA permit meetings only can be accepted if abroad, or at least specify what kind of "domestic" meetings in other countries are allowable.

It certainly sounds from what Bevone says that some of the USA throws meets are not much different from a Hammer Circle midweek challenge, but they seem to be ok for qualification purposes.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Alex_Smith » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:15 pm

Hi guys. I know its been a while since this threat was started but iv only just read it and thought i would clarify a few things.

After the trials i was given the ulimatum by UKA to acheive 2 x 74m performances within the final week of qualification. I set too trying to find competitions of which there was none available in the UK. There was due to be a competition held in loughborough on the wednesday night with the backing of uka where people in my situation could compete as guests alongside a Masters competition. There was about half a dozen people across a few events due to compete. After the trials i began preparing for this wednesday night comp.

On the tuesday night around 10pm i was informed the comp had been called off due to someone incharge of the masters competition deeming it against the rules to have guests. Given i was in form and prepared to compete we decided to hold a comp in hull as a tester to see what could have been.

The competition was held under UKA rules with a level 3 and a level 1 official present. The conditions were far from perfect. It was held in the middle of a storm which caused major flooding in the nearby town of Goole. Conditions which where responsable for a number of fouls by both me and James. The 74.62 was a valid throw and the hole is still present in the field today.

After the comp the question was raised, 'Why shouldnt this be a valid throw?' Emails was sent back and fourth to Top UKA officials questioning what could be classed as a competition. The conclusion was that my 74m was a valid mark which could be entered into the powerof10 but would not be classed as a qualification mark. It may have been considered as a second B standard if backed up by a 74 in a valid qualification competition. A uk record could not be set under these conditions i believe. A competition with a field referee is required. Failure to gain entry to the Irish or Swiss national champs the following weekend ended the possiblity of me qualifying foe the worlds.

The trip to Hungary was self funded to give me an oppertunity to compete at a higher level given i wasnt going to the worlds.

I hope this has clarified the situation a bit and i hope my PB this weekend at the UK winter throws has put to bed any skepticism over my PB last year.

Alex
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:25 pm

Thanks for that Alex and well done yesterday. I'm not sure there was much scepticism but rather a puzzlement regarding how some events can count for qualification purposes and not others. Merv Luckwell is in a similar position with his 'A' standard from Wrexham last year.

I have no doubt though that both of you will throw further and qualify with ease.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby BigGut » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:28 pm

Geoff,

It's not just throwers, marathorunners can compete in perfectly valid races, properly measured and with chip timing to avoid human error and if it isn't sanctioned as a qualifying event it won't count as a qualifier. You could effectively break the Uk record at the Stratford Marathon but not get the qualifying time for the Olympics.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:15 pm

BigGut

The main difference though is the list of authorised marathons is determined by the IAAF but UKA restrict domestic events without restricting similar overseas ones. The marathon is the same for all countries but UKA disallow UKA licensed events held at UKA lisensed facilities with UKA licensed officials yet allow almost ANY event anywhere else outside the UK. Why?

Hopefully, none of this will matter.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby fangio » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:25 pm

I imagine that's because you can't just run another marathon tomorrow if you can get your mates to arrange one, with any hope of going faster.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:54 pm

fangio wrote:I imagine that's because you can't just run another marathon tomorrow if you can get your mates to arrange one, with any hope of going faster.


But it also applies to hundreds of traditional and well officiated meetings throughout the UK. Anyway, I'm not about to enter into an argument - just accept there are anomalies.
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby bevone » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:03 am

Geoff

Didnt someone hop on a bus at last years london marathon and claim a massive PB!!! Did his time stand!
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby Geoff » Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:09 pm

bevone wrote:Geoff

Didnt someone hop on a bus at last years london marathon and claim a massive PB!!! Did his time stand!


Not London, Bev, but the Kielder marathon and his time did not stand. He has actually been suspended from the sport.

The point, though, is that many UKA licensed events are not allowed for qualification purposes but similar ones abroad are. Just wondering if the trials event at Loughborough falls within the criteria (notwithstanding the issue of UKA dates)?
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Re: Alex Smith

Postby readtherules » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:04 pm

Geoff.

I think the answer is no.
Having noted the rythmic gymnastics case I think the letter of the "rules" may have to apply.
GB record ,nearly A std and does not count !
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