ATHLETICS

How new world athletics regulations will impact Kenyans

The regulations will impact athletes taking part in races from 200m to 1500m

Gladys Musyoki (front) leaves the starting blocks during 400M women relays finals on last day of the trials for the Tokyo Olympic games at the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on June 19, 2021. (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

World Athletics has introduced a repechage round for track events from 200m to 1500m as well as hurdle events. This will allow athletes knocked out in the opening round to have a second chance to compete.

The new format, named repechage will see athletes disqualified in round one heats, get a second chance to compete in the repechage heats in an attempt to qualify for the semi-finals.

Currently, athletes participating in the 200m, 400m, 800, 1,500m and hurdle events can only qualify for the semi-finals by placing top in the heats (Q) or having the fastest times (q).

With repechage introduced, the events will now have four rounds – round one, repechage round, semi-finals and the final, with schedules varying according to the specific nature of the event.

The new format set to be introduced during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris means all athletes participating in the Summer Games will have at least two races.

However, 100m will not feature repechage heats as they already have preliminary heats before round one. The new format will also not be introduced in distance events as athletes need time to recover.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe while announcing the new format stated it will help build the anticipation for fans and broadcasters.

"After consulting with our athletes and broadcasters, we believe this is an innovation which will make progression in these events more straightforward for athletes and will build anticipation for fans and broadcasters,” he said.

The President further reiterated that they introduced the move in an attempt to have all the events share the spotlight.

"The repechage rounds will give more exposure to our sport during the peak Olympic period and will be carefully scheduled to ensure that every event on our Olympic programme retains its share of the spotlight,” he stated.

The new format was introduced just hours after the completion of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

The competition which took place from July 15 to 25, saw Kenya secure ten medals: two gold, five silver and three bronze finishing fourth on the medal standings.

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