Hello from Munich airport! I’m on my way home from Madeira where the European Athletics athletes’ commission meeting took place. It was a hectic couple of days, as usual, but it was also very interesting! This time we even got to attend the Golden Tracks Gala, where the best European athletes of the year were awarded. Pretty cool stuff!
So, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about some of the things that were discussed in our meetings. We get the agenda always before hand, so that we can go through it and prepare, since the schedule of the meeting day is very tight.
We started by going over the latest news from the Event and Competition Commission and the IAAF athletes’ commission. We got good news about two of our proposals. One of them concerning the qualification for relay teams for European Championships. Currently, for relay results to be valid for qualification there needs to be three international teams in the race representing three different countries. We proposed that the rule would be changed to two international teams from two different countries similar to the IAAF qualification rule. Now it has been approved by the Event and Competition Commission and if the Council approves it as well, it will be implemented in 2018. The initiative for this proposal came from Finland, and this is a good example of how we can affect things concretely.
One of the many interesting topics on the agenda was further discussing the qualification system for the up coming championships. It has been proposed that a ranking system would be developed. It would be based on placings in international one-day-meets and national championships. Placings in different level competitions would give the athlete a certain amount of points and the sum of points from their five best competitions would then give the athlete a place on the ranking. It would provide a stronger link between the one-day-meets and the championships. The ranking system proposal has its challenges and many questions were raised about it, but we should remember that it is still on a very early phase and nothing is definite yet.
In addition, we discussed the eligibility of athletes (athletes changing the country they represent), developing the European Coaches Forum, the Young Leaders Forum and how to make athletics more interesting and bringing it closer to people. Also a new event was discussed. There has been some talk about heptathlon and decathlon being replaced by octathlon, where the events would be the same for both women and men. Any thoughts on this?
It is true that athletics needs some changes to be able to compete with other sports. However, the changes should not hinder athletes’ position in the sport or their circumstances to do their sport.
I hope this gave you some insight on the commission work.
Have a relaxing Sunday!
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