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Goof afternoon from Spanish Eastern coast,
Since last Wednesday are known the Spanish Team classification criteria to attend London Paralympic Games which will be celebrated from end of August 2012. These criteria has been created by experts from Spanish Paralympic Committee and some Spanish Federation Members.
First of all I wanna make understand all readers that as my event (Marathon for wheelchair athletes whith affected arms) is not been part of London 2012 program, my chance to attend London 2012 Games is so low because I should achieve the standard set by the International Paralympic Committe (1h40min00sec) and that would be a new world record in my class (T52) (1h40min07sec)... Anyways my purpose writing this article is not about a personal situation is just about to explain the standards created by the Spanish Paralympic Commitee to attend London 2012 Games.
I´m just goona make an analysis of some events for athletics wheelchair racing (really don´t know all events and maybe some other Spanish colleages can do that in their respective events) where the classification criteria to attend London Paralympic Games seems to be harder than for Olympic athletes.
Summarizing the foregoing just with a small sentence... It´s harder to attend Paralympic Games than Olympic Games for Spanish Athletes due to the virtually no possibility to achieve the standards.
I´m just gonna make a simple analysis of five events and comparing these with Olympic events. I really got collapsed when I saw these standards. All of these five events are regarding to class (T54) which can be defined as wheelchair athletics events for athletes with non arm affection and a fully flexo-extension trunk capacity.
* The times equivalences are drawn from the comparative of world records in wheelchair athletics events and Olympic running events.
World records in wheelchair athletics events 1500m Man (2´54´´51) 5000m Man (9´53´´05) Marathon Man (1h20´14´´) 1500m Woman (3´21´´22) Marathon Woman (1h38´32´´)
World records Olympic running events 1500m Man (3´26´´00) 5000m Man (12´37´35) Man Marathon (2h03´38´´) 1500m Woman (3´50´´46) Woman Marathon (2h15´25´´)
So know you can see the analysis:
1500m man (2´56´´60), which is like running (3´29´´) so not only the best Spanish middle distance athletes wouldn´t attend London, event top World leaders wouldn´t achieve the standard. Just a simply reminder that World leader is Olympic and World Champion Asbel kiprop (Kenya) with a time of 3´30´´46.
1500m woman (3´23´´75) which is like running in 3´54´´ and just a reminder that World leader is the american Morgan Uceny with a time of 4´00´06.
5000m man (10´03´´) which is like running in 12´50´´. World leader is the World Champion British Mohamed Farah with a time of 12´53´´11.
Woman Marathon (1h39min00sec) it´s like running in 2h16min30sec and just only once a runner name Paula Radcliffe was able to run under this time, when she set a new World record in the distance 2h15min25sec. This year World leader wasn´t able to run under 2h19min.
Man Marathon (1h21min15sec) It´s a time even hard to type. It´s like running in 2h04min50sec. This year only new World Record Holder Patrick Makau (Kenya) who set a new world record in Berlin 2h03min38sec and the Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai who set a new London Marathon record 2h04min40sec were able to run undet 2h04min50sec. In all wheelchair racing history only two racers and in only one marathon Oita, Japan 1999, were able to race under and close to this time. World Record Holder Heinz Frei (Switzerland) who set a new World Record 1h20min14sec and the Mexican Saul Mendoza 1h21min24sec.
With all this info we can really say that In Spain qualifing to London 2012 Paralympic Games is harder than qualifying to Olympic Games and maybe if Spanish Athletics Federation (R.F.E.A.) would make similar classification criterio top Spanish Athletes like Manuel Olmedo, Arturo Casado, Chema Martinez, Natalia Rodriguez, etc… would watch games from their homes.
Just make your own conclussions. Some other colleages like swedish Aron Anderson defined this system as a challenge more than a classification criteria. Australian kurt Fearnley said it was harsh and american Josh George defined as a insane.
Athletics regards to all of you,