Yesterday the IAAF has released the new standards for next year’s World Championships in Beijing. If you’re not yet aware, it was already made public that they wanted a standard that would fill roughly 75% of the field. Then if needed, they would fill in the rest of the fields from the world list. Personally, I think the standard should be 77m, but that’s beside the point.
My hope is that this lower standard spurs on our recently graduated throwers into sticking around by giving them something attainable to shoot for. A result of 76 meters is much easier to visualize than the old 79 meter standard. I think the “A” standard of years past scared some people. They took the attitude that they’d never throw it, so why try? While I do understand that rationale, for me that’s just not a good enough reason to give up. An “easier” standard is not all that’s needed. Talent/genetics, desire, work ethic, opportunity, funding, good luck, and years of training are all necessary for an athlete to reach these results. But a lower standard could help set all these things in motion. Due to our late exposure to the event, it is a rarity for university aged athletes to throw 75-76m within the first 4-5 years of seeing a hammer. 76m is still 10th place all time in the US! That’s how infrequent that kind of result is in our country.
The overall competitive level at National Championships should also rise. Hopefully following in footsteps of the women’s hammer. The women’s standard is 70 meters. We have so many women over that mark already, I predict their competition will be one of the hottest of the championships. They’re going to have to bring it on the day. Isn’t that what competition is about? A standard reachable to more athletes affects funding opportunities as well. Getting more out of our recently graduated post collegiates is paramount in my vision for turning the fortunes of mHammer around.
Success and reaching goals is a strong motivator. I’m setting a challenge to our men hammerers to field a full US team of three throwers for the 2015 World Championships. Looking at the list of active American throwers, that we should be able to meet that challenge:
|Kibwé Johnson||80.31m (74.86m)|
|A.G. Kruger||79.26m (76.25m)|
|Jacob Freeman||76.86m (71.43m)|
|IAAF Qualifying Standard ***76.00m***|