The U.S. system does not yield the best possible team, but I think it yields the team that is most acceptable in American culture.
I have read here much bitching and moaning about the British selections. Imagine what it would be like in the U.S. if “selectors” chose the team. American fans and American athletes would holler “favoritism” and “politics” until the whole system was paralyzed.
I think that the more a culture is used to centralized control of everyday life, the more they would be willing to tolerate government selection of their national teams. The example of the U.S.S.R. and Bubka is perfect.
The US has made some moves that kind of show this. If I recall, Justin Gatlin false started out of the 2005 US nationals, but then was moved along to the next round?
I think the US, in a lot of events, has too much potential for a variety of athletes to medal to justify not picking based on placement. To select one athlete over another, who may have just as much of a chance at medaling, seems kind of crazy. The womens 400m is an exception but look at other events where the US is very deep.
The ONLY criteria to make the US team is: first three past the post. And, if you’ve done the meet entry standard (for the worlds or Olympics) then you’re automatically in. If you haven’t done the standard, they’ll give you time up to the close of entries to get it.
Most sensible nations go with first two (qualified) at the trials and make it as objective as they can without cutting their own nose off to spit their face. So they make the third spot discretionary. And if the first three across the line all do the meet qualifier on the day at the trials, then you might favour putting all three straight into the team. Unless - of course - you have the world’s best performer in that event missing your trials because s/he has a decent excuse like illness or grievement etc.
Athletes are not machines and national federations can do better than to pick a team like some automatic machine spitting out three tickets in sequence.
Why don’t we let more than 3 entries per nation per event? Why should there be jokers running 11+secs in the 100m wasting lanes or guys running over 21 in the 200? Why not the truly best in the world (say top 20-30 times posted)?
In 88 Seb Coe wasn’t given the opportunity to go for an unprecedented 3 Olympic golds at 1500m. Whilst he went on to record the fastest time in the world at the distance, Steve Crabb got knocked out in the heats.
I don’t think Richards, based on her 200m performance, would have medalled anyway at 400m.
I think Sanya would have been in trouble in the 400 based on time missed this year and very tough rounds.
She might go for a time in Zurich over 400 if she can rest enough between the 4 x 400 and then.
i must agree with the 100 in 92.linford was lucky lewis didn’t qualify.going on the way carl ran the relay he would have destroyed everyone in the 100 but thats the rule and the past cannot be changed.wass a good stepping stone for linford though
I certainly agree with you. But I felt in 92 that Linford was still on the verge of progress, whereas Lewis was still close to his best and had the mental capacity to do what was sadly beyond Leroy Burrell on the Olympic stage. A year later and by 93 (if memory serves) Lewis was no longer the 100 force of old.