Athletics the magic shoes of breaking records Regularity checks

Athletics, the magic shoes of breaking records. “Regularity checks”

Even in track races, everything went further with ultra-light shoes with a carbon sole capable of multiplying the runner’s thrust. And also on the tartan, the records of the men and women have fallen like ripe pears. World Athletics, the world federation that responds to the needs of technical sponsors, has allowed them to indulge themselves, limiting themselves to the imposition of basic rules (a single carbon blade in the midsole, a maximum thickness of 25 and 40 millimeters in running and racing shoes). that describe at least a perimeter of rules.

But now something more is needed, because the sports multinationals try everything to equip their top athletes with the best shoes and change the models from month to month. And if it’s true that all models used in competitions have to be on the market regularly before being used by top runners, it’s also true that it’s enough to buy the shoes at a crazy price (500 or 500 euros). more) to put online on the manufacturer’s website euros) and state very long delivery times to discourage purchase. Last Friday at the French indoor meeting in Liévin (the one where our Marcell Jacobs didn’t shine in the 60 meters), the men’s record for the 3000 meters fell sensationally. Not only did Ethiopian Lamecha Girma run in a sci-fi 7’23”81, but Spaniard Mo Ketir (7’24”68) fell below the old record, lowering the European record by 6” (a huge amount).

Immediately after the race, the pair had to take off their shoes (Nike Dev for the Ethiopian, Asics Metaspeed Md for the Spaniard) and hand them over to the race director. And where until recently the judge limited himself to checking them, now the shoes are sealed, sent to an approved laboratory and destructively examined in minute detail for any non-conformances, even to this day never found. In short, expensive custom-made prototypes become disposable the moment a record is broken or even when you break the old record despite beating it, as happened with Katir. Companies grumble, athletes too: An object that sets a record is part of your life, seeing it crushed before you can even celebrate is not the best.