WMA throws out javelin specs, records for W60, W65 and W70
Starting this year, women 60-74 will throw the 500-gram javelin instead of the 400-gram spear, thanks to approval of an Australian proposal at Porto Alegre worlds. USATF adopted the new specs at the Indy annual meeting, and Jerry Bookin-Weiner says he is writing about this and other implement changes for National Masters News. In response to a query, Jerry wrote me: â€śMenâ€™s and womenâ€™s shots at the WMA level may (note MAY, not must) have up to the same diameter as the largest menâ€™s or womenâ€™s open shot. The rationale for this change (which has been in the USATF rules for a long time) is that our hands do not get any smaller as we age. The W75+ .75kg discus may (note again MAY, not must) have the same specifications (except obviously weight) as the 1kg discus. Same rationale as above.â€ť Rex Harvey tells me that Oceania President Wilma Perkins, wife of WMA President Stan Perkins, proposed the change from 400 to 500 grams for the javelin, which was summarized in the General Assembly booklet at worlds.
On the javelin change, Jerry adds: â€śThe only rationale I can conceive of is that the javelin was the only womenâ€™s implement to reach its lightest weight before age 75 until this change and therefore it brings it into line with the others. All of these have been adopted by USATF and will be in the 2014 Rules of Competition when they are published, so officials should be aware of them.â€ť
The listed WRs for W60, W65 and W70 are:
â€˘ 41.28 (135-5) by Austrian Gertraud SchĂ¶nauer
â€˘ 38.07 (124-11) by Britainâ€™s Evaun Williams
â€˘ And 33.73 (110-8) by Evaun.
So apparently these records will be tossed at the end of the year.
Listed USATF records for W60, W65 and W70 are:
â€˘ 39.16 (128-5) by Californiaâ€™s Linda Cohn
â€˘ 31.48 (103-3) by Oregonâ€™s Becky Sisley
â€˘ And 28.42 (93-3) by Becky
Sorry, Linda, Becky, Gertraud and Evaun. But at least your 400g records are immortal.
Hereâ€™s what WMA delegates weighed (I donâ€™t know the final votes, though):
[Proposal] from Australian Masters Athletics
9) W60-74 Javelin specification: That the technical specification for W60-74 Javelin event be increased from 400gm to 500gm.
Justification: Trials in Australian and discussion in other countries have indicated strong support for this adjustment as women in this age bracket still have the strength and flexibility to throw the heavier implement.
Proposal from USATF Masters T&F
Appendix A.2 shall be modified to show that all Menâ€™s shot shall have the IAAF maximum diameter of 130mm.and that all Womenâ€™s shot shall have the IAAF maximum diameter of 110mm. Also Appendix A 4 shall be modified to show that the 0.75-kilo discus shall have a maximum diameter of 182mm.
Reason for change: Athletes lose strength as they age so the weight of the implements decreases for safety and performance reasons. But their hands do not get smaller. With the current rules, as the implements get progressive lighter, and smaller, the older athletes have to relearn the grip, throwing motion, and release of the smaller implements that are currently required by WMA rules.
Furthermore, because the diameter of the lighter shots are so much smaller than the hand sizes of adult athletes, it is virtually impossible for older men and women to have all of their fingers behind the shot, thus increasing the risk of sprained fingers. It would be safer and more athlete friendly to allow (not require) the standard IAAF maximum diameters that athletes are accustomed to.
The minimum size of the shots would stay the same so that it would still be possible to manufacture minimum cost solid cast metal shots. These larger sized implements are already available and the proposal would not invalidate any existing legal shot or discus implements but merely would allow more standard sized implements if desired.