Friday, November 18, 2011
Female US Racewalker qualifies for trials but can't go to Olympics...
Erin Taylor-Talcott is an American racewalker. After posting a time of 4:41:36 in a recent 50k race, her time was actually faster than the United States men’s Olympic trials standard of 4:45. The only catch though is that there is no 50k racewalk for women at the US trials or at the Olympics.
From the New York Times....
"A 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) racewalk became an Olympic sport for women in 1992. There is also a separate 20K race for men. The I.A.A.F. said there was insufficient interest among female competitors to hold an Olympic race at 50 kilometers, calling the event “pretty much nonexistent.” Yet, Taylor-Talcott excels at the longer distance, having won first place in the past two 50K United States championships for women, a race that is contested nationally but not internationally in major meets. Unofficially, she is the 14th-fastest woman ever at 50K, recording her best time on Sept. 11 at a race in Ocean Township, N.J. And she is faster than some elite American men in a sport that requires competitors to keep one foot on the ground at all times and to straighten their leading leg as the body passes over it."
On Wednesday she finally gained provisional entry into the trials and, according to a spokeswoman for USA Track and Field, perhaps became the first woman to do so in a men’s event. Taylor-Talcott can compete in the 50K Olympic trials as a so-called guest upon agreeing not to try to participate in the men’s event at the London Games, the national governing body said."
While Taylor-Talcott will be allowed to take part in the 50k mens race to highlight the issue, she is very unlikely to reach the 2012 Olympic participation standard of 4 hours 9 minutes for men.
It does however raise an interesting dilema....what would happen if say the worlds fastest 50k female racewalker actually achieved the mens qualifying time? Would she be refused entry based on her gender?
The New York Times article can be seen in full HERE