$28,000 was unawarded at World Relays for lack of entries
The following is an excerpt from LetsRun.com’s World Relays Review
It highlights two events which New Zealand could have entered teams and won prizemoney just by finishing. Most of our potential selections are already based in the US in the build up to the European season and we certainly could have had a good crack at the Top Aussie Teams.
It seems crazy also to think of the money spent in putting together the Women’s 4x400m team to qualify for and compete at the Galsgow Comm Games, who set a NZ Record, and we didn’t even consider it a good idea to allow them to go to The Bahamas to build on that success!!
Quick Take #3: Why aren’t more countries entering teams?
The IAAF has poured $1.4 million into this meet — $140,000 per event. Yet there were just five teams on the start line for the men’s 4×800 and six in the women’s DMR. That’s $28,000 in prize money (combined unawarded payouts between each event) — that could be awarded to any nation willing to field a team — going to waste. The World Relays is an exciting meet and teams like Great Britain or Canada shouldn’t need convincing to send full strong teams. What British or Canadian middle-distance runner is going to say no to a free trip to the Bahamas in which they’re guaranteed prize money?
I watched the highlights package on Sky which is frankly a shame as it diminishes the excitement level when it cuts out the flavor prior to and subsequent to each event. Sky have live Diamond League Series now, thank goodness, so I am surprised that the IAAF World relay was not broadcast live, also.
Australia did well. I thought that NZ could have been competitive at the distance medley relay but would appreciate more experienced views. Would it have been too soon prior to the World Athletic Champs for our athletes.
Personally, I feel this event is just going to get bigger and better. It is wonderful to see unusual grouped teams in action for what is an individual sport. I think ANZ should get on board now before the horse has bolted for 4x 400 and distance medley relays. However I don’t think we are competitive enough for 4 x 100 and 200 events.
I am also disappointed that Athletics NZ haven’t put any effort into sending teams to World Relays. It seems an obvious place for our athletes to gain valuable top level competition and also put New Zealand out there again in Track and Field.
An added bonus of Prize Money doesn’t hurt either.
To see a DMR from Papua New Guinea and not us is an insult. I believe we could easily have been in contention for the 3rd-6th place spots with Australia Poland and Germany.
I enquired about World Relays last year and was told that the four (4x100m, 4x400m, M&W) relay teams were trying to qualify for Comms and decision on worlds would be made later. I was fine with this decision. I replied to that asking about potential 4x800m and 4x1500m (replaced by DMR this year) teams and was ignored. So evidently Athletics NZ has no interest getting our younger, almost at world-standard athletes, that experience or having our name out there as a top level track and field country again.
I didn’t enquire about this years relays as I would be unable to attend. I agree with Rees above, it would have been easy to assemble a team, with most of the athletes in contention already in the US.
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