Rants

Malaga relay mess yields new Team USA selection procedures (but Net savvy is mandatory)

At the Columbus annual meeting, members of the Masters Track & Field Committee debated the relay selection process — an effort to avoid another Malaga mess. The result is a wag-the-dog statement that justifies the use of M70 Charles Allie in the M65 4×100 in defiance of then rules. For the first time, USATF masters’ relay goal is “is to win as many relays as possible. The secondary goal is to involve as many Team USATF Masters athlete applicants as possible in the relays.” Hoookay. The old rules suggested that staying in your age group was Job One: “The TSC…


National Masters Chair Rex Harvey: Medals were goal of Malaga relay selections

It goes without saying that the goal of USATF masters is winning as many medals at possible at worlds. But was a decision to move Charlie Allie down from the M70 4×100 to the M65 team in Malaga the most efficient course? I’ll let others debate that. For now, I’ll pass along the first response I’ve gotten from USATF National Masters Chair Rex Harvey since posting the Roger Pierce complaint nearly a week ago. Rex graciously writes: Please make it known to your readers that, while he does more work than any of the rest of us, volunteer Phil Greenwald…


Were steeple barriers at Malaga safe to step on? Canadian M75 racer ended up bloodied

American M75 middle-distancer Ev “Doc” Murdock was eighth in the 2K steeple at Malaga, but he sent me photos of the fifth-placer — Vern Christensen of Canada. Vern is shown at the finish holding his bloody forehead. Ouch! What happened? Doc explains: Has anyone mentioned to you that the steeplechase barriers were not coated with the usual nonslip surface? Instead, they were painted with high-gloss paint. As a result, they were amazingly slippery as soon as they got wet. Those of us who normally step on the barriers as part of our technique for jumping over them slipped. Several of…


Nominate masters for USATF awards by Friday — if link comes back from dead

The USATF Masters Awards panel, chaired by W40 Malaga worlds hep champion Rachel Guest, is doing a good thing — using our official USATF masters site to invite nominations for annual awards. But not so good — you can’t nominate someone. The specified page says: “Sorry, this nomination form is not available.” That’s an easy fix (I hope). But the deadline is Friday. “After the October 5th deadline, the USATF Masters Awards Sub-Committee will review all nominations,” the announcement page says. “The committee will review all performance factors prior to voting. All awards winners will be announced at the USATF…


Florida M65 thrower rips Malaga facilities in letter to WMA President Margit Jungmann

Guy Dirkin of Florida had a good Malaga. As an M65 thrower, competing for Britain, he won silver in the hammer and was 23 points away from bronze in the throws pentathlon. But he wasn’t happy with the facilities and let the new WMA president know in a letter I obtained. “Dear Margit,” he wrote Germany’s Margit Jungmann, the newly elected leader. “Please find attached a letter to you regarding the WMA’s managerial performance at the recent Malaga World Championships and past Championships. This correspondence has been provoked by multiple participant complaints, primarily around facilities. The scope of this letter restricts coverage to…


Stan Perkins’ WMA Marketing and Communications Committee short on communications so far

Old WMA presidents never die. They just get named committee chairs. So it goes for Stan Perkins of Australia, who finished his two terms this month at Malaga. I recently learned Stan had been appointed chair of the WMA Marketing and Communications Committee. So I shot him and his committee some Qs, seeking details on the gig. Stan, bless him, was first (and only so far) to respond. But he didn’t offer much info. In fact, he took me to task for asking stupid questions. (Sorry, but that’s my specialty.) “I will not provide any additional information at this time…


Russia should be reinstated to IAAF/Olympic family — and right a masters wrong

Even though my long-hurdles hero Edwin Moses is going ballistic, I’m happy to hear that the World Anti-Doping Agency is poised to reinstate Russia — let its athletes compete internationally. On Thursday, WADA may accept the recommendation of its compliance review committee. The panel says Russia could soon meet two demands — admit it cheated and give WADA access to its drug-testing lab. “Russia’s anti-doping agency has been suspended since 2015 after a WADA commissioned report revealed alleged widespread doping in the country, although Russia has repeatedly denied state involvement,” Reuters noted. “WADA President Craig Reedie said in March that…


Will Malaga become WMA’s ‘Nazi Olympics’? Gibraltar M40 runner protests flag ban

Liam Byrne took fourth in Heat 5 of the M40 800 prelims Sunday at Malaga, but he quickly became the focus of world media when he displayed his flag after the race. The flag of Gibraltar. In the results, he’s listed as representing “WMA.” Media reports say he was forced to run as a “neutral” athlete. His time of 2:03.49 (see results here) means he’ll likely have a hard time making the final. (Top qualifier was 1:58.08 by Kenya’s Isaac Kiberenge.) But he’s apparently the only Gibraltar athlete (of five originally entered) still competing in Malaga. Would love to see…


Malaga results mum on world records while Kenyan runners submit insane seed marks

Malaga’s results service is impressive. It’s easy to navigate and lists most everything. But why no references to world records? W80 British thrower Evaun Williams put the shot 10.07 meters (33-0 1/2) on her first try Tuesday to smash the listed WR of 9.66 (31-8 1/2) by Germany’s Anne Chatrine Rühlow in 2017, for example. (The main WMA site has a running account of Malaga WRs. The others are W75 shot by Austria’s Marianne Maier (12.12/39-9 1/4), displacing an Evaun mark, and M70 5000 walk by Britain’s Ian Richards in 25:51.34.) An event I’m looking forward to is the M35…


Free the Gibraltar Five! Malaga LOC says they can’t wear colors or fly their flag

Don’t tell David Pain about this. He’ll flash on his time fighting to get South Africans into 1975 Toronto worlds. This time, at least, a host country isn’t excluding a national contingent. Gibraltar has one of the smallest teams at Malaga worlds, but its treatment is making the biggest stink. The British territory’s M40 Liam Byrne (400/800), M40 Charles Savignon (10K/half-marathon), W45 Allison Edwards (10K/half-marathon), M45 Maurice Turnock (5000) and M65 Horace Bossano (10K) may not be medal favorites. But they have become pawns in some crazy Spanish politics. Media outlets, IAAF bigwig Seb Coe and others are calling out…