Open letter to WMA Prez Stan Perkins: Sack Sandy as records czar

Dear Stan: Sandy Pashkin has failed in her role as WMA Records Committee chair. You should take a page from USATF’s Gary Snyder’s playbook and remove her for incompetence and aggravation — to media and athletes. The latest example came Thursday morning, when Soar Running reported an M45 indoor mile world record by Anthony Whiteman at a Lee Valley meet in London. Anthony ran a fantastic 4:12.94. But the listed American record is John Trautmann’s 4:12.33 from 2015. The listed WMA record is Brad Barton’s 4:16.83 from 2013. Meanwhile at the same Wednesday meet, W50 Lucy Elliott ran 5:03.60 to shatter the listed WR of 5:07.32 by Clare Elms in 2015. Two weeks ago, I noted errors in M70 pole vault records. This is a recurring shame. Ten years ago, I called for Sandy’s ouster as USATF records czar. Don’t take that long to act. At the least, have Sandy’s group do a thorough review of all national and region records to make sure WMA’s list reflects the best marks. As it stands, WMA’s record books are an embarrassment to the sport. Sincerely yours, Ken Stone.

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February 2, 2017

12 Responses

  1. Anselm - February 4, 2017

    Well many of my world records are not listed as well.

  2. Matt B. - February 4, 2017

    His 51.8 indoors is about 4th all time indoors 45-49

  3. JES - February 5, 2017

    Isn’t there a review process requiring submission of a fair amount of paperwork for putative world records, making it unreasonable to expect a record run on a Wednesday to be certified by Saturday, 3 days later? There may be very good reasons why it is time for a change in that dep’t, but this specific example does not seem to be one of them. Or am I missing something?

  4. Peter L. Taylor - February 5, 2017

    JES, I think Ken is focusing here on the delay in getting American records accepted as world records. In this case, John Trautmann broke the American indoor mile record for M45 in February 2015, or 2 years ago.

    After appropriate review of paperwork, FAT photo, etc., John’s time was accepted as the American mark (4:12.33).

    Now we are in February 2017, or 2 years after Trautmann’s historic race. His time has still not been accepted as a world indoor record, leaving Brad Barton’s 4:16.83 from 2013 in its place. This causes confusion among the running public about what “the true record” is.

    In the case being reported here, the failure to give Trautmann’s record the status of “world record” caused people to think that Whiteman’s recent 4:12.94 was a world record.

    In brief, I believe that Ken Stone is arguing that the “true record” is 4.12.33 and that people in the world of T&F need to know that.

    Personally, in preparing reports or in getting ready for meets, I have had considerable difficulty with this issue, which can be described as “American record is better than world record but is not the world record. What can we appropriately say as announcers or writers when talking about the current world record?”

  5. Bill Pontius - February 5, 2017

    Peter, maybe you can call them the “best ever mark” It must be a chore to get it all straight prior to going into the booth (or onto the field as I’ve seen you do). You, sir, are a tremendous resource for masters rack. Thank you!

  6. Peter L. Taylor - February 5, 2017

    Thank you, Bill, for your kind words. Right now I am preparing for the Albuquerque indoors, and I have to be very mindful of the fact that sometimes the American record is better than the world record but did not get world approval.

    Other times we have someone such as Olympian Karl Smith, who recently broke the world indoor M55 mark for the 60 hurdles. Right now that record has no status at all. What if Karl breaks the world record in ABQ but does not run as fast as he did a few weeks ago in North Carolina? What do I say?

  7. Weia Reinboud - February 5, 2017

    I do not know why it takes so long to reach the world record list. A month could be enough I think, or maybe two when some extra information is needed. E-mail is fast today, isn’t it? My high jump record of a year ago is not in the list, although for a long time already in the European list and in our national list. There is absolutely nothing wrong or non-standard with it. I nearly improved it on friday by the way.

  8. Tom Sputo - February 5, 2017

    One way that WMA could streamline the process is to revise their rules regarding acceptance of records to accept a national mark that is accepted by an approved national federation that maintains a review process that WMA deems to be acceptable. For instance, USATF would most likely be one. Probably many (if not most) of the European organizations, etc.) This would still require a record set in a location where the national federation is not on the pre-approved list to be reviewed by WMA. Can anyone think of a reason why this would not be a reasonable thing? Would streamline things and should not make the records less reliable.

  9. Ken Stone - February 6, 2017

    Athletics Weekly also was misled by WR claim:

  10. Ken Stone - February 6, 2017

    AW changed wording of report after I notified them via Twitter:

    Whiteman’s mark bettered the listed world record for that age category, although there is a faster unratified American mark of 4:12.33 which was run by John Trautmann in 2015.

  11. Henry - February 6, 2017

    She will die. Then, will it be any better?

  12. Matt B. - February 11, 2017

    1:52.96 800i today M45 WR

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