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    chinese womens 1500 records
    #1
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    I was just brushing up on the 1500 meter record list and am truly understanding just how ridiculous those records are. There are like 10 women who ran under 1:54 in the nineties many of them in the late summer of 1997 at home in China. The most interesting thing to note is that many of the girls were extremely young to be performing at this level as a 1500 runner. Most of them were teenagers and few were barely over 20. Doesnt it take time to master middle distance events? I thought most middle distance runners dont really get into their running until at least mid twenties? I know there is nothing on the books to incriminate them but jesus this is insane.
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    there's not necessarily anything wrong w/ the athletes, but there's most certainly something wrong with the marks. There's a massive difference between the two.
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh
    there's not necessarily anything wrong w/ the athletes, but there's most certainly something wrong with the marks. There's a massive difference between the two.
    ??!! I've never heard this line of reasoning before. Are you implying that the marks were falsified? There was no video to re-time the races? Or the track really was short?
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    I've definitely heard this line of reasoning, and advocated it, too. This is a topic I've spent a lot of time on, and though I will never have the explanations I would like, it's clear that just two meets entirely skew a bunch of events on China's all-time lists. The national championships in Beijing in September 1993 and especially the national championships in Shanghai in 1997 produced lots of marks that were entirely out of line with pretty much everything else most of those athletes produced ever again. In 1997 -- especially there -- the out of line marks are very deep and across a range of distances; it's not just the 1500, or the 5k, e.g. -- it's in a range of events.

    And, I don't have a good explanation for this. Short track? Mis-timing? Mis-marked track? Who knows -- maybe someone did do something with the intention to cheat. I don't know, and I doubt we'll ever know. But there are so many "off" marks for so many athletes, across a range of events (again, especially in 1997), that something was amiss. It has never looked to me like all the things we've discussed for years as, so to speak, "conventional" sorts of cheating because if somehow they figured out how to become the all-time evil geniuses of cheating, they only managed to do it in one or two meets? (And again, especially at Shanghai 1997).

    If one sets aside the marks for those two meets, the remainder of their all-time lists look like a lot of other all-time lists.

    I've also suggested that these marks -- especially Shanghai 1997 -- for whatever reasons they occurred, have had a real ill effect on the development of Chinese women's athletics since then. We bemoan occasionally the effect of 10.49 on subsequent interest in and efforts toward that record. Imagine if, in a bunch of events, you couldn't even get close to a top 10 all-time mark in your own nation, and that all of those top all-time marks happened in one national championship meet.

    I do think it's possible to have an informed discussion on this, but I think it's more possible it would go off the rails pretty quickly. The longest discussion we've had on it is on the Free Speech thread, iirc. (This by the way is no criticism of the policies of these Forums, which I agree with and appreciate and try to support with my own contributions.)
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    These are wise words, as we have grown to be accustomed to from Master Po.
    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
    by Thomas Henry Huxley
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Po
    I've definitely heard this line of reasoning, and advocated it, too.
    It's just that I'm having a hard time believing NO ONE broadcast/filmed/videotaped the races, so some one could sit down and analyze the video. I've always assumed that we all tacitly agreed they were on something (I really have no inkling what), with or without their knowledge.
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    "we all" most certainly did not. Use collectives at your own peril.
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh
    "we all" most certainly did not. Use collectives at your own peril.
    So, since you personally don't buy the Chinese records either, and you are not 'we all', I'm back to my original question: did they just 'make up' the results (which video could confirm/deny)?
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    With marks like 3:50.6, 8:06.1 and 29:31 (with a final 5K in 14:26!) I certainly felt that they were cheating in some way. But, like Master Po said...we'll never know...but I think it's a shame that the records can stand when so obviously sham.
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    Re: chinese womens 1500 records
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    This topic comes up with great regularity. I'm in favor of the short track theory but there's likely no hard answer. I asked years ago if anyone had video of these races and some said "of course" it existed, but no one has ever produced anything. And we've been told that "of course" the IAAF measured the track; but if there is proof of that, it hasn't ever seen the light of day.

    Some very talented athletes, we know that, but the marks remain entirely bogus. No, the skeptics can't "prove" anything, but only the most delusional would buy those performances at face value. They stink to high heaven.
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