Here's Why USATF Honoring World Rankings Would Be A Disaster

Earlier this week we published an opinion stating why it is a good thing for USATF to use time standards as the only means to guarantee a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team. Our main reason was based on the fact that the new world rankings are unfair, but more importantly, the world rankings make the selection process even worse.

First, let’s look at the timeline of events.

June 28, 2020: End of U.S. Trials

July 1, 2020: Final world rankings published and IAAF accepts all athletes qualified via Olympic standard

July 2-5, 2020: IAAF to fill the remaining spots via world rankings 

Here are a few scenarios that illustrate why using world rankings as a qualifier could be problematic.

SCENARIO A:

Trials Top-4 Result:

1) ‘Runner A’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

2) ‘Runner B’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

3) ‘Runner C’ (Doesn’t Have The Olympic Standard, Is Ranked 100th)

4) ‘Runner D’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

USATF submits runners A, B, and C for consideration...

After all non-declared athletes are removed from the Olympic field (something USATF will not know ahead of time), Runner C’s ranking is still outside the top 48, not making them eligible for selection. Runner D could have been selected on time, but will not be on the team. In this scenario, USATF only sends two athletes to the Olympics.

SCENARIO B:

Trials Top-4 Result:

1) ‘Runner A’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

2) ‘Runner B’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

3) ‘Runner C’ (Doesn’t Have The Olympic Standard, Is Ranked 100th)

4) ‘Runner D’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

USATF submits runners A, B, and D for consideration...

After all non-declared athletes are removed from the Olympic field (something USATF will not know ahead of time), Runner C’s ranking is inside the top 48, meaning they could have been selected. Runner C won't make the meet despite being eligible via world ranking and placing ahead of Runner D at the Olympic Trials.

SCENARIO C:

Trials Top-4 Result:

1) ‘Runner A’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

2) ‘Runner B’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

3) ‘Runner C’ (Doesn’t Have The Olympic Standard, Is Ranked 100th)

4) ‘Runner D’ (Doesn’t Have The Olympic Standard, Is Ranked 48th)

USATF submits runners A, B, and C for consideration...

After all non-declared athletes are removed from the Olympic field (something USATF will not know ahead of time), Runner C’s ranking is still outside the top 48, meaning they are rejected. Runner D could have been selected via their ranking, but was not submitted. In this scenario, USATF only sends two the Olympics.

SCENARIO D:

Trials Top-4 Result:

1) ‘Runner A’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

2) ‘Runner B’ (Has The Olympic Time Standard)

3) ‘Runner C’ (Doesn’t Have The Olympic Standard, Is Ranked 100th)

4) ‘Runner D’ (Doesn’t Have The Olympic Standard, Is Ranked 48th)

USATF submits runners A, B, and D for consideration...

After all non-declared athletes are removed from the Olympic field (something USATF will not know ahead of time), Runner C’s ranking is inside the top 48. This means Runner C could have been selected, but since they weren't submitted they are not eligible for selection.  

More Ways To Watch FloTrack

Never miss a moment.

Eight 2019 NCAA Stars Taking Their Talents To The Pre Classic

The greatest single-day track and field meet on U.S. soil, the Prefontaine Classic, will have strong representation from a handful of 2019 NCAA stars. Annually one of the top Diamond League meetings, this year’s event—hosted by Stanford as OG Hayward Field is no more—will again be comically loaded with star power, including the following names from this past collegiate season.

Who Should Run On The U.S. Men's 4x100m?

As long as they can avoid the tragic fate of many a past U.S. men’s relay teams, the Americans should win 4x100m gold in Doha this October. Of course, that’s not at all a guarantee with Team USA registering a slew of DQs over the years, but a much weaker Jamaican squad without Usain Bolt has the Americans in position to finally regain the top global spot in the 4x1 for the first time since 2007.

Rabat Takeaways: Ethiopia Beginning To Make Noise In Steeple

The Diamond League was back in action on Sunday as the international track and field circuit made its annual African stopover in Rabat, Morocco.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Kenny B, Welcome To The Diamond League: Rabat DL Preview

The second Diamond League meet of the week takes place on Sunday in Rabat, Morocco with Genzebe Dibaba, Salwa Eid Naser, Nijel Amos, Emmanuel Korir, Jenny Simpson and burgeoning American sprint star Kenny Bednarek all in action. Here are five events to watch. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Confirmed: Grant Holloway Now Sponsored By Adidas

June 14 update: It's official! Grant Holloway is sponsored by adidas.

Oslo Diamond League Recap: Coleman Goes 9.85, Lewandowski Shocks Mile

The Diamond League was in Norway on Thursday for its annual stop at the Bislett Games in Oslo. Upsets were aplenty in the distance races, while speedy U.S. stars Christian Coleman and Sydney McLaughlin picked up impressive victories.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

POLL: Which 3 Men Should Be Bowerman Finalists?

Now that the NCAA season has wrapped (and quite spectacularly so at the Division I outdoor championships), it's time to reflect on the most outstanding performers and narrow in on the top candidates for the 2019 Bowerman Award.

'SPEED CITY' Episode Six Debuts LIVE On June 14th At 6PM CT

This season, we debuted our season-long series, "SPEED CITY: A Season With The Houston Cougars," which follows the Houston men's track and field program as they pursue their first-ever NCAA team title. 

A Running List Of College Athletes Going Pro In 2019

It's that time of year! We're keeping this page updated to highlight which collegiate stars are turning pro and where they're going.