Walker recounts lap-counting errors in Clermont-Ferrand

The recurring bane of masters track reared its ugly head at worlds, it appears. Laps were miscounted in distance races in France, according to a Forum post by a friend in Hong Kong who goes by the handle Quick Silver (he knows me as Quick Sand). Quick writes: “Does anyone have any comments on lap counting at Clermont Ferrand? The system seemed to change in mid-meet. . . . On the track they gave everyone in my 3000 walk a second chip to be worn around the ankle, and the lap counting went fine. Two days later, in my wife’s 3000 run, they dispensed with the ankle chips and some people ran an extra lap. This was brought to their attention, but the results came out with the extra lap included.” Anyone else experience a lap-counting problem?

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March 31, 2008

3 Responses

  1. Tom Phillips - March 31, 2008

    The only alleged counting error I saw (and I was on the track taking photos at the end of every one of the 3,000m races) was from a guy in one of the races where they did use an ankle transponder. There was another weird event where a German competitor raced all bar the final lap wearing his transponder, then threw it away, and dropped out. However, I don’t think I saw any other complaints being made. Mind you, language skills, other than French, were in short supply at the finish, like they were in many other parts. One hopes the complaint was taken up officially by Team Management, and not just left to the athlete to complain at trackside?

  2. Mary Harada - March 31, 2008

    The information given in the packets said that a chip would be used for the 3000m runs and walks – as well as for the x-c and 10k race walks. There was no chip for the x-c but there was a transporter attached to the competitor bib for the x-c that recorded the finish. For the women 3k run on the track there was no chip nor any ankle transponder in use. Lap counting for the W 65 plus 3k run was fine as there were few of us and little lapping going on. For the younger age groups – I did not hear of complaints. I was surprised to see them bring out the ankle transponders for the men’s 3k run – and heard that there had been pressure applied to use them. I am not surprised at the lack of transponders for the women’s 3k walk – the attitude was, as usual, that there would be no problems – right – LOL – always a problem unless lap counting is taken seriously. And the finish line clock worked too – unlike in Boston where it stopped a couple of minutes into the 3k run for the older women – did not start again for several minutes and then restarted at zero – so it was impossible to know what lap one was on nor one’s split times. Fortunately the lap counting was fine – so no one ran short or long as far as I could tell.
    Always an adventure!

  3. Quick Silver - March 31, 2008

    In fact, I was the Hong Kong team manager in C-F, and I speak French. I pointed out the error to the lap counters themselves as the last competitor finished, but I didn’t follow it up with the referee because my wife wasn’t in medal contention and I had taken all her lap times anyway.
    There was definitely an error. It was definitely pointed out immediately to the people who could have done something about it, but nothing was done.
    Quick Silver
    Hong Kong

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