IAAF recognized Flo-Jo 10.49, Kiryu 10.01 did not ?

>> June 16, 2013

Governing body for athletics, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has decided not to recognize YOSHIHIDE KIRYU as joint junior world-record holder in the 100 metres.

On April 29, 2013, the 17-year-old Japanese ran 10.01 (with a legal wind-speed +0.9) to equal the World Junior Record set by Trinidad's DARREL BROWN during the 2003 World Championships in Paris.

According to both IAAF and Japanese Association of Athletics Federations (JAAF), the wind instrument used during the (Mikio) Oda Memorial meet in Hiroshima, was not up to current international standards, which call for an ULTRASONIC wind gauge.

Since many decades ago, wind-gauge is compulsory for sprints, sprint-hurldes, and horizontal-jump events. For 100 metres, IAAF rules indicated wind is measured at halfway or 50m point (left side) along the straight for 10 seconds.

But the question is DOES it really measure the 'exact' value of wind-speed ?? kindly note reading +2.0 is the limit for record ratification as well as ranking acceptance. Thus, +2.01 (rounded up +2.1) of reading is already considered a non-legal performance.

Photo: SEIKO - state-of-the-art wind measurement for track and field uses ultra-sonic technology (IAAF)

In 1932 Olympics, three anemometers were installed at different points during the men's 100m final and all have shown inconsistent results, where +0.2 (positive) and the other one +0.4 (positive) measured at start, while -1.4 (negative) at half way. These results different to each other because of direction of the winds (blowing) during 10 seconds of measurement; tailwinds, cross-winds, or perhaps headwinds. Kindly note as well that the wind in lane 1 is not necessarily the same as that in lane 8.

In 1988 Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, USA, using the available and latest anemometer (brand: Omega), the women's 100m produced outstanding results, with Florence Griffith-Joyner in quarterfinal one breaking the World record (10.76 Evelyn Ashford 1984) in 10.49 (a massive improvement of 0.27 !!) with wind-speed 0.0 (no wind !!) recorded. Her best before coming to the trials was 10.96 only. In round one, she ran a stunning 10.60 with a +3.2 wind, and after that winning her semi and final races in 10.70 (+1.6) and 10.61 (+1.2) respectively.

An identical anemometer on the triple jump runway (adjacent to 100 metres) read mostly wind-aided (at least 93% of 46 readings were between 2.1-7.0 m/s), with flags around the stadium were flapping wildly, which was perhaps enough to nullify the record? If it's the case, Flo-Jo's fastest "wind-legal" time in 100m was 10.61, 2nd fastest on World's All-Time lists = also a World record.

Since 1997, the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) has listed her 10.49 as "probably strongly wind assisted, but recognized as a World record".

Dependent to the angle of wind blowing, the anemometer would produces different reading. In Flo-Jo's 10.49 World record race, the anemometer recorded a +2.8 wind blowing from the left side perpendicular (91°) to the track, and this produces a 0.0 official wind measurement. But if that really were 0.0 reading, sprinters would surely have recorded much slower times.

Now the questions are, what might the reading be when the latest anemometer (ultrasonic) used in the 1988 Olympic trials ?? If Kiryu's 10.01 were in 1988, would there be a World record for juniors ratified?? is the introduction of ultrasonic wind-gauge would completely avoid any discrepancies in wind-reading data??

Recommended reading:

Vid 1 (Flo-Jo's 10.49 in 1988 Olympic Trials)
Vid 2 (Kiryu's 10.01 in Hiroshima 2013)

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