13 February, 2018

Justice for an athletics' giant

In June 2015 I published a post on a most infuriating point in the IAAF's site athletes' section. Al Oerter's results were mentioned with an unbelievable omission of the 1964, Tokyo, Olympics victory. Since this section has been recently revamped I did check and at long last the omission/injustice was repaired. 

As you can verify yourselves, Oerter is now correctly credited with four olympic victories. All is well that ends well? Hm, not quite. As you can see there is one thing still lacking: a photo of Oerter. Were he an obscure, also ran, athlete I could understand this. But the IAAF failing to get hold of a photo of Oerter when Google has dozens of them is something I have trouble understanding. (On the other hand the photo medallion is empty even in King Carl's profile, so this has probably something to do with the source IAAF is using for the athletes photos).

As in my previous post I did check the page of Jesse Owens, and here things are getting worse. It is still devoid of information (except for Owens' citizenship). I understand that populating the profiles of all prominent athletes of the 20th century can be a formidable task, but Owens is not just anybody.

Still one must be fair. The new athletes' pages are a substantial improvement over the previous ones. For years I have been wondering why in the athlete's results no mention of continental championships existed. If that was due to the some ill-conceived separation of responsibilities between the IAAF and the continental federations it remains that it was rendering useless something that could have been a great statistical tool. Fortunately this has now been remedied. The information is now particularly rich (at least for some of the athletes, probably those who were still active in the last decade or so). I checked the page of K. Stefanidi and it has her results in the Olympic Games, World championships, World Indoors, World's U20, World's U18, Europeans, Diamond League, European Indoor's, European Team championships, World University Games, European U23, National and NCAA championships. Pretty impressive! (What is also equally impressive is that Katerina has obtained a medal in every single competition of this lengthy list).  

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