Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #11
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    The greatest advantage to the 2+2+2+2 format is more bang for the buck (3 races), plus it keeps the top athletes away from each other longer - more anticipatory suspense. I hate when the top two are in the same semi because of the vagaries of seeding. One's quarter-final time can vary according to conditions and competition.
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    #12
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    My main concern with having 'fastest losers' qualifying spots in sprint races is the possibility of very different wind conditions between the 2 heats. I don't think this is a major worry at the kind of stadia used for Olympics and World Senior Champs but at those often used for meets like Euro age-group champs there is a slight chance that one heat could be -0.3 and the other -3.3. In such an event you are almost certain to have 5th place in the former run faster than 4th in the latter. Perhaps more so on the flat than in hurdles where fallers & dnfs are more likely to make the 2 heats very different from each other regardless of wind.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    The greatest advantage to the 2+2+2+2 format is more bang for the buck (3 races), plus it keeps the top athletes away from each other longer - more anticipatory suspense. I hate when the top two are in the same semi because of the vagaries of seeding. One's quarter-final time can vary according to conditions and competition.
    Precisely. I hated it the first time I saw it. That was mainly cos it was a Euros where Susanna Kahlur missed out on finals and her much slower sister made it because of a massive wind variation between the three semis.

    Now I absolutely love it. Making the top 2 is not easy and so even the top athletes need to put in some real effort in the semis. Plus in the 200m and 400m you need to finish first or make sure you are the fastest 2nd placer to make sure you get a good lane. That means even more effort. As a result we get 3 really great races rather than 2 average races that we used to get under the first 4 into the finals format.
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    #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by etuoyo View Post
    Plus in the 200m and 400m you need to finish first or make sure you are the fastest 2nd placer to make sure you get a good lane. That means even more effort.
    Not really; the slower 2nd-placers get lanes 7 and 8 (or 8 and 9), which are great lanes in the 200 and 400.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Trickstat View Post
    My main concern with having 'fastest losers' qualifying spots in sprint races is the possibility of very different wind conditions between the 2 heats. I don't think this is a major worry at the kind of stadia used for Olympics and World Senior Champs but at those often used for meets like Euro age-group champs there is a slight chance that one heat could be -0.3 and the other -3.3. In such an event you are almost certain to have 5th place in the former run faster than 4th in the latter. Perhaps more so on the flat than in hurdles where fallers & dnfs are more likely to make the 2 heats very different from each other regardless of wind.
    Not to mention rain conditions from race to race. I prefer equal numbers advancing from each heat / semi in all races. Knowing what is needed to advance based upon earlier races is an unfair advantage.
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    #16
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    I think that the 3 semis, 2+2 came from reducing the number of rounds from 4 to 3, i.e. you get 24 into the semis instead of 16. I remember in 1960 the 800 had four rounds, not sure when that changed. They used to run heats in the 10,000. I think reducing the number of rounds has resulted in fresher athletes -> better finals.
    Cheers,
    Alan Shank
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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Shank View Post
    I think that the 3 semis, 2+2 came from reducing the number of rounds from 4 to 3, i.e. you get 24 into the semis instead of 16. I remember in 1960 the 800 had four rounds, not sure when that changed. They used to run heats in the 10,000. I think reducing the number of rounds has resulted in fresher athletes -> better finals.
    Cheers,
    Alan Shank
    I think there were four rounds in the 800 in LA in 1984 despite a boycott which probably reduced the entries by about 10 athletes or so. Other than that I think there have been 3 rounds in all the other Games I can remember (1976 onwards).

    While the 3 semi-finals format is far from perfect it is a compromise between making athletes do 4 rounds at one extreme and eliminating something like 65% of athletes in the first round at the other.
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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDFINE View Post
    Not to mention rain conditions from race to race.
    I think it's been shown that on modern tracks with modern spikes, traction is even better on wet tracks than dry. Go figger.
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by LopenUupunut View Post
    Not really; the slower 2nd-placers get lanes 7 and 8 (or 8 and 9), which are great lanes in the 200 and 400.
    Yes they are. But no one really wants to be in the outside running blind with all their rivals inside them in a championship final. I know the Men's 400m world record was set that way but it would not be a choice. In any event it is a huge risk running to come second with only 2 to go through.
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    #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by etuoyo View Post
    Yes they are. But no one really wants to be in the outside running blind with all their rivals inside them in a championship final.
    More and more, coaches and athletes are seeing the real benefits of lanes 7 and 8: easier turns and you can focus on executing your own race. Trying 'harder' in the 200/400 is usually a recipe for disaster. Running smarter is the goal.
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