Eurovets insanity: M90/M95 sprint champs were denied medals!

When my UK friend Tom Phillips pointed out that the viral video stars from Eurovets didn’t get medals, I had to check it out. In fact, M90 Emiel Pauwels and M95 Ilmari Koppinen fell short of the medal standards by a second and half — even as they brought more public attention to our niche sport than anything EVAA has done in years. Someone in Eurovets should deliver golds to both gents with an apology. For goodness sake, they didn’t use canes or walkers at San Sebastian! They ran their asses off. (Here’s the Athlete’s Manual where standards are specified.)

So even if you're older than 90, you have to meet a standard to rate a medal.

So even if you’re older than 90, you have to meet a standard to rate a medal.

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March 30, 2013

13 Responses

  1. Who would be your daddy ??? - March 31, 2013

    Aren’t medal standards in the works for USA ??

  2. Mary Harada - March 31, 2013

    Well well – now medal standards are being proposed here by some – or was it national championship titles – guess it was that –
    I can understand the reluctance to give a national championship title to someone who walks in a running race, or strolls around the track in a race walk -or just lets a discus or hammer roll out of the hand – but to deny these older folks medals for not meeting a standard – wow – tough. I thought those two men looked really good sprinting.
    I will have to check out the standards for women – I saw a very slow 1500 meter time for the only woman competitor in the W75 category – I wonder if she made the standard.
    That would certainly weigh on my mind in deciding if I would spend money to go to a national or international meet – I wonder if WMA will go this way? Any noise about that Ken?

  3. Gary John - March 31, 2013

    Medal standards for all ages, all events, would be nice. We are athletes first.

    And please never, ever mention age-graded results again. Complete horse crap.

  4. Tom Fahey - March 31, 2013

    That race was inspirational. Those guys are athletes and deserve medals and a lot more. People like them show the rest of us that it is possible to have a high level of function even at advanced years.

  5. Ken Stone - April 1, 2013

    Hi, Mary. I wrote to a WMA official friend of mine for comment on the Eurovets outrage. No reply yet. Technically, EVAA can ignore the standards and award medals — since what if this happened in an outdoor meet and sprinters ran into a gale-force wind? In any case, EVAA can easily reverse itself on medals, if they haven’t already awarded them.

  6. Courtland Gray - April 1, 2013

    How would anyone be so presumptuous to think they could establish a truly valid medal standard for a 95 year old? So few nonagenarians are able to run, we should honor them, not insult them. Being 95 is much harder than a gale force wind.

  7. Mike Fortunato - April 2, 2013

    I agree with Courtland. In the upper age groups these standards are far more fiction than fact.

  8. Doug Thompson - April 2, 2013

    I should point out that some of these medal standards are very tough – the 800 meter standards are so tough that a number of folks listed on the world ranking site would not have qualified for a medal, and they far exceed our “All American” standards.

  9. Wendy Melvin - April 3, 2013

    Sounds as if these ‘standards’ may be a deterrent to anyone who shows a new interest in getting involved with/supporting Masters sport. Medalists are those who cross the line first, second and third (performing as per the proper execution of their sport). The upper age groups are remarkable and an inspiration … why would anyone want to discourage their participation based on some randomly selected standard.

  10. Weia Reinboud - April 5, 2013

    I did not study the standards, maybe another time (I know of some very weak standards…). The standards are there for cases that just showing up would be enough for a medal.
    Another aspect on the particular race: Emiel pauwels is a very nice man, but on the other hand: he is very slow for his age. He won because no one faster was present.

  11. Doug Thompson - April 6, 2013

    Just to give some perspective on what I said earlier. Here are the All-American standards and the euro vets Medal standards for several events for the M 55 age group:

    200 AA: 27 EV: 26
    400 AA: 1:02 EV: 1:00
    800 AA: 2:25 EV: 2:17
    1500 AA: 5:10 EV: 4:40

    As I said this would preclude all but the very elite masters athletes from getting a medal.

  12. Kelly - April 12, 2013

    I’m a pretty decent masters runner – not world class certainly – but I wouldn’t make the standard for my age, even though I have placed at the USA masters nationals the two years I’ve run.

    I only ran one track race last year (at age 52) – a 3000m in 11:57 and another good masters woman (also 52) ran 11:47 and the standard for EV is 11:45, so neither of us would have qualified. eep.

    I enjoyed the gentlemen’s 90+ race and hope that I can still be running at that age!

  13. troy dietz - April 24, 2013

    Hi Ken, Enough time has passed that most anyone that was going to post about this already has. I think the fact that there are only 12 comments to date maybe shows that this isn’t really the scandal you made it out to be. “Insanity”, “denied” “outrage” all seem a little strong. Someone might just as easily consider it condescending towards older athletes to give them a medal when they didn’t meet the standard as to consider it an outrage to hold back the medal. Maybe these gentleman have transcended worrying about medals altogether.

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