Make 200m an official IUF racing distance (Closed for comments)
Comments about this discussion:
Over the last few years 200m has become quite an established racing distance throughout Europe. It proved to be a highly exciting distance and promoted enthusiasm among the competitors and also among the spectators. This year it was also carried out at the German National Championships and received positive feedback from a great majority of riders. The number of competitors also proved to be very high (comparable to 100m) and consequently there is a strong demand for that race among professional riders but also among beginners. In my opinion 200m is an optimal distance to create an exciting race that is a mixture of a pure sprinting distance (100m) and a rather longer distance (400m). As a result of that, it would be a great idea to include this racing distance in the catalogue of standard IUF races and to carry out this race at every upcoming racing competition (also at UNICONS).
What are your opinions?
I hadn't noticed that 200m had become quite an established racing distance. Where throughout Europe has it been run over the last few years, besides the German National Championships?
Admittedly there is a bit of a "hole" between 100m and 400m, but then again there is an even bigger "hole" between 800m and 10k Standard (which falls under Road racing). As it is, we see many of the same riders get similar results on 100m, 400m and 800m, so I'm not sure about the added value of completing the range with a 200m race. I'm afraid it will be just the same top riders getting one more medal.
I think there is nothing wrong with convincing organisers to include a 200m race, but our current rules permit that already. I doubt if our rulebook would have to require this.
It has been run especially within the scope of several German racing competitions (the National Championships being just the biggest) and in some competitions in Switzerland. 200m has also been offered as a discipline during the European Championships in Langenthal, so I thought it was a rather European matter. And the feedback after these competitions was tremendously positive (among riders, as well as spectators).
Of course it is just a matter of fact that professional riders will also be likely to excel in this discipline in addition to some other disciplines. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating discipline and the highlight of every track and field competition (f.ex. it is great to watch Usain Bolt compete over 100m AND 200m). It is just an exciting racing distance.
Experience also showed that beginners also prefer shorter distances in order to access racing competitions. 400m might often be already too far for them and consequently you often see extremely young riders falling to the ground after finishing a 400m race simply out of exhaustion. Personally I think 200m would do them a favor.
Furthermore, on the official IUF webpage there is already a 200m male world record displayed. As a result of that, I consider it rather inconsistent not to include 200m in the catalogue of standard IUF disciplines.
To my knowledge the costs of including a 200m race are quite low and the corresponding benefits rather high. Looking forward to more comments on this.
@lisa.h: "To my knowledge the costs of including a 200m race are quite low and the corresponding benefits rather high."
The major cost would be time, followed by the monetary cost of more awards for a similar racing event.
We used to race 100m, 200m, 400m and 1600m. We dropped the 200m, I believe, because it was fairly similar to 100m, with the main purpose being to save time. In later years, we changed the 1600 to 800, not for time, but to allow the Experts to run the race again in the same day, if needed, for the final heat. That's the background of those events as I remember it. I wouldn't be in favor of adding a mandatory race between 100m and 400m, but would not have any issues with a host offering that race.
Lisa, I like your idea but I also see the points mentioned my Klaas and John.
Adding more disciplines automatically needs more time, more awards, more organisation... Having a world record in this discipline doesn't automatically mean that it is an official IUF discipline, just think about other records listed (for example track gliding).
In my opinion it would be a good idea to mention somewhere in the rulebook that a host may include a 200m race but I would not make it compulsory.