This was the description Paralympian sprinter Jerome Singleton used to compare the current arrangements for races between single amputees, like himself, and double amputees like Oscar Pistorius and Alan Oliveira, the man who beat Pistorius earlier this week.
Jerome Singleton is not only an elite athlete who competes in the T44 100m final tomorrow night, he is also a NASA scientist, so I tend to think he knows what he is talking about. He is not the only athlete to think that the rules need tightening up.
Whole article can be read here
Several of the runners said Wednesday that while Pistorius’s comments were ill-timed, they supported his point that the IPC needs to re-evaluate and tighten the formula in the interest of fairness.
Singleton, a single leg amputee, even suggested that IPC should perhaps run races for two classes, the T44s like himself, and the T43s like Pistorius, Oliveira and Leeper. Of the 20 athletes that raced the heats, only five were double-leg amputees and three of them qualified for the final.
“The classes need to be split,” said Singleton, who upset Pistorius in the 100 metres at the 2011 world championships. “It’s not apples to apples, it’s like apples to pineapples right now. If they want to keep us together, they need to re-evaluate that formula.”
“We need to have an idea of the exact height for an athlete to run in, and maybe have a variation of like one centimetre, so you know you’re racing the same athlete in all competitions. Single-leg amputees, we don’t have too much maneouvring when it comes to height.”
“As time changes, science changes, so we have to make sure it’s fair to all competitors.”
Single-leg amputee Alister McQueen of Calgary, who ran a disappointing 12.02 and failed to qualify for the final, agreed with Singleton that the formula needs to be changed.
“With the formula they use, they’re just not proportional,” he said. “Every person running here is not breaking any rules, they’re not doing anything wrong. It’s just that the rules leave such a wide vary of what they can do with their prosthetics. If they do tighten it up to where it makes more sense, I don’t think they’ll need to split up the classes.
“It’s one of the most exciting races in the Paralympics and we don’t want to get away from that. We just want to even up the field.”
Leaving the apples and pineapples debate aside, the T44 100m final tomorrow evening is going to be huge. Going into it, the British contender Jonnie Peacock is the faster qualifier; running a time today of 11.08 seconds that equalled the existing Paralympic record. That time is a shade short of his own world record of 10.85, set earlier this summer and this evening he was running into a strong headwind…
Tomorrow’s final has all the right ingredients for an unmissable race. A strong start is going to be key and that may be to Peacock’s advantage. We’ll see.
Unbelievably, I have read there is no mainstream coverage of the event in the USA? Is this really the case? A real missed opportunity if it is and one that should be rectified for the future.