To set the background for this,
In the Jamaican Olympic trials held last month, defending Olympic champion and ex-Hog McLeod hit the first hurdle and finished dead last in the 110M Hurdles. In both US and Jamaican trials, top 3 in each event make the team. However, there is an exception allowed by Jamaican Olympic committee. The committee could displace the third place athlete with a more worthy athlete.
McLeod then filed a request that since he was the defending champion and had the fastest time this year for any Jamaican, he should be placed on the team instead of the third place athlete. After consideration, the Jamaican committee decided to not grant McLeod’s request. The primary reason was all the three athletes who finished 1-2-3 almost finished in a dead heat separated by a photo finish only. And the committee decided it would be unfair to displace any of the three.
So, McLeod will not be be defending his title. He would have been the main challenger to gold medal favorite Grant Holloway of US.
Maybe they should have an automatic qualifier like girls gymnastics so you have a chance regardless of trials
They do have Olympic qualifying standards for Track&Field. And in most countries, only a few meet those standards. So, they don’t have Trials and whoever meets the standard ends up on the team and in rare occasions there are more than 3 meeting the standards, a selection committee decides.
But in US and Jamaica, and specifically US, usually 15 to 40 (less in Jamaica) per event meet the standard including some high schoolers. Hence the need for trials. US Trials are the most fair. No selection committee to throw in a bias. You finish in first three and you are in.
BTW, US is weak in some events like Javelin and walking events and sometimes not even 3 meet the standard. In that case, if you finish in top 3 and have not met the standard, you are not on the team. I believe that will happen to one or two Javelin guys for this Olympics,
but doesn’t sound like there’s an auto qualifier outside of the trials, right? Gymnastics as has that.
Sorry, misunderstood your question. No, there is no automatic qualifier to get on the team outside of the trials.
But Gymnastics does not have that either. They have Olympic trials too. The top two all-around finishers make the 4 woman team. The other two members are selected by the selection committee. Then there are two other spots for individual events and they are selected by the selection committee
I don’t think that’s correct. Jade Carey is on the team based upon World Cup performance that had nothing to do with trials.
You are right about the World Cup. The two individual spots I mentioned are selected based on performances at the individual events of World Cup series. Carey had maximum points in that series in the vault and earned an Olympic berth for the Vault.
So, you are technically correct on what you are saying, because World Cup events are technically outside the Trials even though they serve as trials for selection. But this is only true for the individual spots while the team event berths are selected at the trials.
It would be nice if track and other sports had this, too, and it might prevent the problem you address in your original post.
In Track&Field, there is something like this for the World Championships but not for Olympics. For the Worlds, defending world champion and current Diamond League (like Gymnastics World Cup series) champion gets automatic entry into the Worlds.
However, this is not a rule established by the US Track Association but by the world track body IAAF. US still holds its trials and top 3 in each event make the team in addition to any athlete who qualified automatically because he or she was a world or Diamond league champion.
As a result, in the World Championships coming up next year in Eugene, you will see 4 Americans in some events. There have never been some events over the years where US finished 1-2-3-4.
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