Tyson Gay critical of false start rule change, Usain Bolt is not
By Nesha Starcevic (CP) – 4 hours ago
BERLIN — Tyson Gay is highly critical of the rule change that will automatically disqualify every runner who jumps the gun as of next year. Nemesis Usain Bolt is just fine with it.
“No, I don’t think it’s an improvement,” Gay said Thursday, speaking two days before the start of the world championships.
Bolt, the Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100 and 200 who will clash with Gay on the first weekend of the championships, was relaxed about the change.
“For me, I have no problem, I never false started yet,” the Jamaican said. “It will be better for the sport. It will be a problem for some people but not for me.”
The rule change, adopted Wednesday by the world governing body of track and field will not be enforced at this event.
Gay, the defending 100 and 200 champion, said the IAAF should have left the rule as it is - with the second runner to commit a false start being excluded.
"I don’t know the details behind the rules, I talked to (ex-sprinter) Frankie Fredericks about it and he said if he comes to a major championship and someone false starts and is out, that is a waste of a ticket.
“You come to watch people run, not false start. I don’t really agree with it, I don’t know if it is all for television or what not, but I don’t do this for television.”
Gay said that human error was inevitable and that the rule would have an impact on athletes’ approach to competition.
“I am a human being, like the rest of the athletes, I make mistakes. The new rule will affect athletes a lot mentally, because every time you go to a race now, if you move, you are out,” he said.
“People will have to sit more and wait and not react like they want to, people will be more cautious. You move you are out, it will leave certain people out. People train hard all year and then one false start, you are gone.”
The rule was backed by the IAAF’s executive council, and its president Lamine Diack said 2010 was the ideal time to introduce the change since there are no major competitions scheduled.
“We need to change it next year because everyone will have ample time to change by the time of Daegu,” Diack said, referring to the South Korean city where the next worlds will be held, in 2011.
Jorge Salcedo, the head of the technical commission of the IAAF, said the current system favoured runners who deliberately committed a first false start to put their opponents on edge.
“There are athletes who do it on purpose,” he told the rule-making congress, which approved the change by a 97-55 margin with six abstentions.