Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Paula Radcliffe campaigns against new IAAF ruling

Monday, October 17, 2011

Paula Radcliffe campaigns against new IAAF ruling

In an earlier post, I had a look at the new International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rule which said that womens records could not be set in mixed races. This rule then in effect made Paula Radcliffe's 2:15 Marathon record invalid. Well, it seems as if there is now a growing campaign to get the IAAF ruling changed.

Paula Radcliffe has now hit back saying that that the new ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations discriminates against women. Radcliffe met the IAAF's president, Lamine Diack, in Monaco last week to lobby him to reverse the ruling. "He seemed to really take on board what I was saying, so now we just have to see what they do about it. The ball is back in his court."

According to Radcliffe there is a good chance that the old records – including her marathon time of 2hr 15min 25sec, set in London in 2003 – will at least be included in the record books as a footnote. Although happy that her time may not be struck off altogether, Radcliffe is still irritated by the rule itself. The IAAF will not be able to consider changing it until its next congress in 2013. "I do think that the rule is unfair," Radcliffe said. "It penalises women. It limits the amount of chances we have to set records because the majority of road races are mixed.

"They won't be able to do anything about changing the rule now. But they may be able to take away the retroactive aspect. That was really harsh. It was not just my world record but a lot of people's national records, area records, they were just suddenly wiped out. It seemed like your efforts were devalued." She pointed out that when the IAAF redesigned javelins, in 1986 and 1999, the previous records were included in the books as footnotes, and she has suggested to Diack that a similar thing is done with women's long-distance records.

Radcliffe's sponsors, Nike, organised a canny marketing campaign on Radcliffe's behalf, with the slogan "History Stands", and she said she was overwhelmed by the amount of public support she had received. "At the end of the day women are out there running on their own two feet and through their own effort. It was a really big step that London made in 2003 to put the men in with the women's race so I was really conscious that I never ran behind them. I was racing them. You won't find one image of me running behind them. I was always alongside them, I didn't talk to them beforehand and we didn't set a pace. I was racing the guy and I was really annoyed that he actually beat me."

Info from the Guardian Newspaper and the Telegraph

1 comment:

Lev Yashin's Ghost said...

Totally agree with Radcliffe. It is discriminating.