IAAF performs marathon u-turn

In my experience of running marathons, if you are going in the right direction then performing a u-turn is generally a bad idea – you will find yourself running against the tide of people. However if you find yourself running the wrong way then a u-turn might be the best course of action. In the case of the IAAF they made a decision that Paula Radcliffe’s world record for the marathon of 2 hours 15.25 minutes achieved at the London Marathon in 2003 would be down-graded to a ‘world best’ (you can read all about that here) and found themselves running head-on against the tide of public opinion. Now it appears that they have performed a tactical u-turn and might now be able to focus on tackling all the more important issues that affect our sport.

This is how ESPN reported the news released by Associated Press:

The IAAF has decided to let Paula Radcliffe keep her marathon world record from 2003, after previously saying it would reduce one of athletics’ outstanding performances to a world best because the English runner set the mark in a race with men.

IAAF Council member Helmut Digel told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the governing body will keep the mark in the books, despite an August decision to only recognize records achieved in all-women races from now on.

You can read the full text here.

1 Comment

  1. Thank goodness they have managed to see the error of their ways/sexism/stupidity. As someone who is campaigning pretty hard right now to get more women involved in sport, if they’d have gone ahead with that decision to downgrade Paula’s achievement, exactly what message does that send to young women? Our achievements don’t matter? They’re not relevant? We’ll never be as good as men? Any way you look at it it’s bollocks and I’m disgusted it ever got taken as far as it did in the first place.

    I’m glad there was such an uproar about it. Women (and men who love us!), we definitely need to shout louder and ensure that there is no possible way that our achievements in sport are never and will never be ignored. That way, maybe it wouldn’t be such an uphill battle getting women involved in sport in the first place.

    *steps down from soapbox*

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