Daegu’s main arena called heavenly, but ‘Stadium B’ not so hot
One observer says athletes would gather around the space heaters like they were on a Boy Scout camping trip âand then run to do their jumps before huddling around the heating units again. The temperature was often colder in Stadium B than it was outside, where temps were around 37 degrees F or so.â
Moreover: âWhen athletes would complain to officials about the cold, they were told that everyone was competing under the same conditions so it was fair.â
USATF national masters chairman Rex Harvey responded to my queries thusly:
The IAAF rule for indoor stadiums (which WMA follows) reads: âThe stadium shall be completely enclosed and covered. Lighting, heating and ventilation shall be provided to give satisfactory conditions for competition.â But âsatisfactoryâ is in the eye of the beholder. I am reasonably sure that had this been an outdoor meet, that, with no wind and rain, the temperature would not have been complained about at all.
However, like you, I did hear many complaints about the temperature in Stadium B, mostly repeatedly from one person, but several have told me that it was not ideal. However, it was not âvery coldâ as some people seem to be reporting to you.
Being the WMA Competition Team member in charge of Combined Events, I spent most of my time in Stadium B where most of the Pentathlon events were held and where I was also assigned on most non-Combined Event days.
I never had on any more than a thin T-shirt and the official long-sleeved shirt and a light wind breaker jacket and baseball cap. Being originally from Iowa, I would not call that âvery coldâ even though I live in Arizona now and have become somewhat thin skinned.
Because of my duty assignments, I could not attend all of the Team Manager meetings, but I assume the subject was apparently noted by the WMA Competition Team and/or the LOC, or came up from team managers early on as I did note that, by the second day of field events, the LOC had procured some small kerosene space heaters in Stadium B, and that by the third day there were several large (4 foot by 4 foot) kerosene space heaters in the stadium at the field event venues in addition to the smaller heaters.
These larger heaters were primarily positioned where the athletes were sitting for each event. I did note that some, who complained the most about the temperature, chose to sit off in the corner away from where the heaters were for some unknown reason(s).
The purpose of Stadium B is inherently obvious when you note what events were held there.
Obviously the events in Stadium B were those events that could not be held in Stadium A because of the configuration of that stadium and obviously those events that could not be held in Stadium A because the venues in Stadium A were already fully utilized.
I think it is pretty amazing that Daegu, upon attending the WMA Indoor Championships in Hungary, realized that all the indoor field events could not be conducted in one stadium, so they built another one. How many places in the world could and would have the means to do something like that on the spur of the moment?
It was originally planned to be immediately adjacent to the main stadium, but a small cemetery was there, forcing it to be built about 250 meters away, which I covered many, many times walking over 11 miles a day on the two Combined Events days as reported on my trusty Fitbit. It was not designed for and was never meant to be heated.
Overall, I heard it said many times, from all levels, that Daegu was the best WMA Indoor Championship ever held and I cannot disagree having planned, attended, participated, officiated and administered at some level or another at all of the WMA Indoor Championships except Hungary since the first one in Sindelfingen. Could some things have been better? Of course, and I think that will always be true wherever they may be held.
Aside from the conditions of Stadium B, Mathews said, âWeights and measures were not conducted properly, so no one could set a record with any of the implements.â
And one Daegu-goer said: âThere was a tremendously high rate of âno showsâ from the Korean team,â supposedly because a very popular Korean singing group was performing at Opening Ceremonies, âand it was cheaper to register for the WMAC and see the group perform on opening night than to buy a ticket to see the group at a regular venue. So after seeing their idols, about 30 percent of Korean athletes disappeared.â
Iâm checking with the LOC on this contention â as well as the cold in Stadium B.
What was YOUR experience in the cold? Did it hurt your performance?