New world record

By Gene Cherry
RALEIGH, North Carolina, May 13, Reuters - Jamaica’s Asafa Powell has a message for the man who broke his 100 metres world record.
Tell Justin (Gatlin) congratulations (but) the record is only on loan,'' Powell was quoted by his agent Paul Doyle as saying shortly after the American clocked 9.76 seconds in Doha, Qatar yesterday. The performance clipped one-hundredth of a second off Powell's 2005 world record and earned the 24-year-old Gatlin the triple crown of sprinting. The soft-spoken sprinter, who once thought about being an artist, joins compatriots Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene and Canadian Donovan Bailey as the only male 100 metres runners to win Olympic and world championship golds and set a world record. If their rivalry wasn’t big enough yet, the suspense of the first race (this season) has just multiplied,’’ Doyle said via telephone from Doha after watching Gatlin break the record.
The two are scheduled to meet for the first time this year at Gateshead, England on June 11 and several more clashes could take place in the European summer.
They only raced twice last year with Gatlin winning both encounters as Powell suffered a groin injury in the second meeting that forced him out of the world championships.
However, both are healthy now and ready to take their rivalry to a new level.
I'm trying to go 9.74, 9.73,'' Gatlin said in Qatar. The race (Friday) really wasn’t one of my best races.’’

Despite fulfilling his recent boasts, Gatlin admitted that setting the world record so early in the season had surprised him.
I know I was talking a lot and wanted to do it and was really focussed on it, but I did not think it would come my second race into the season,'' he said after his race. His game plan from the beginning of training at the latter end of last season was to break the record this year and that focus had not changed, even with the 9.76 clocking, he said. I am actually more motivated now to go out there and run a faster time,’’ Gatlin said.
Both he and Powell will compete in the May 28 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon but in different events.
Gatlin is scheduled to run a 100 metres there and Powell the 200 metres, Doyle confirmed yesterday.
Gatlin also will run a 100 metres in New York on June 3, the day after Powell is slated to race the same distance in Oslo in a tune-up for their Gateshead showdown.
Powell was the world record holder when the Gateshead showdown was arranged.
Now I am the fastest in the world,'' Gatlin said. It feels great.’’

I want to see gatlin run a 200 now too. With that pickup at the end it should be interesting(or rather lack of slowing down!)

seems that Gatlin was right when saying :" this could become the greatest rivalry of track and field"


The Times May 18, 2006

Mistake robs Gatlin of outright record
By David Powell, Athletics Correspondent

IT TOOK less than ten seconds to run but five days to admit that it had all been a terrible mistake. (edited). . . the IAAF is not so used to the position that it found itself in yesterday — having to cancel a world record because officials got it wrong.
It was not just any world record, either. It was the men’s 100 metres mark, the most celebrated in track and field. When Justin Gatlin, the world and Olympic champion, from the United States, crossed the finish line in Doha last Friday, at an IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting, he was given a time of 9.76sec. The athlete may not have jumped the gun, but hasty officials did.

Instead of following the rulebook, and rounding up the time to the nearest hundredth, they rounded it down. Thus Gatlin, who, according to the timing system, ran 9.766sec, should have been credited with 9.77. Any time between, and including, 9.761 and 9.770 should be recorded as 9.77 and thus Gatlin lost sole ownership of the record, while Asafa Powell gained a share of it.

“It motivates me to go out there and run even faster,” Gatlin said on being told the news after a training session in Durham, North Carolina. “I was very upset this morning but that anger turned to motivation. I want to be the first man to run 9.7 twice. When I broke the world record my plan was to break the world record again, so nothing has changed.”

Gatlin and Powell, the Commonwealth champion from Jamaica, who ran 9.77 in Athens last year, are scheduled to meet in Gateshead on June 11. “It makes it very interesting for the rest of the season because they are identical now,” Nick Davies, the IAAF’s spokesman, said, finding what positive spin he could from what he admitted was a serious blunder.

Full responsibility has been taken by Tissot Timing, which provided the system, but whether the Swiss company is to blame is a moot point. Under the sport’s international laws, the chief photo-finish judge is responsible for the functioning of the system and, together with two assistants, for ensuring that the results are entered correctly into the competition system.

It is understood that a local official acted as chief photofinish judge. Qatar is a relative newcomer to hosting IAAF meetings and organisers may have assigned somebody who was not up to the job. That all the times in the race are out suggests equipment error, but Tissot said in a statement: “The IAAF rounding rule, to be initiated manually on the timing system, had not been activated as instructed.”

Maria Ahnebrink, a company spokesperson, said: “Tissot Timing regrets this incident and apologises.” However, Davies noted: “This is not a problem of timing but of reading the time.” The IAAF is to ask Doha officials for “a detailed report”.

Only one previous similar incident comes to mind. Daley Thompson missed Jurgen Hingsen’s decathlon world record by one point at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Two years later, study of the photo finish from the 110 metres hurdles showed Thompson’s time at 14.33sec, not 14.34, giving him a share of the record.

Gatlin’s time was rounded up by .004 of a second. Using his average speed of 10.24 metres a second across 10.24 metres a second across 100 metres, it can be calculated that he would have run another 4.09 centimetres in this time.


Timing system

The system is started automatically by the starter’s gun so that the delay between the report from the muzzle and start of the timing system is less than one thousandth of a second.

The system records the finish through a camera with a vertical slit, positioned in an extension of the finish line, producing a continuous image. The image is synchronised with a uniformly marked timescale graduated in hundredths of a second.

The times and places of the athletes are read from the image by a cursor guaranteeing perpendicularity between the timescale and the reading line.


The chief photo finish judge is responsible for the functioning of the system. Under IAAF rules, he is obliged to meet the technical staff before the competition and familiarise himself with the equipment.

At least two photo-finish cameras should be used, one from each side and technically independent. One is designated as official and the other is used only to resolve uncertainties.

In conjunction with two assistants, the chief photo finish judge determines the times of the athletes and their respective places. He must ensure that the results are entered correctly into the competition results system and conveyed to the competition secretary.

For all races up to and including 10,000 metres, the time is read and recorded to one hundredth of a second. Unless the time is an exact one-hundredth, it should be read as the next longer one-hundredth of a second.