12/08/2019   2019 Pan-American Games: reflections and controversies

Already on the occasion of the two races of the 20km of the Pan-American Games we had proposed to our readers a reading key of the red cards that had been sent by the jury.

We wanted to do the same analysis of the past week today, but focusing on the 50km.
The numbers that we present in the following table came out

50km Athletes at start Red Cards  Bent Knee % No Contact %
50 women 10 10 8 80,0 2 20,0
50 men 14 34 20 58,8 14 41,2
Total 24 44 28 63,4 16 36,4



that we are going to compare with the same analysis made for the two 20km



20km Athletes at start Red Cards  Bent Knee % No Contact %
20 women 14 22 15 68,2 7 31,8
20 men 16 28 16 57,1 12 42,9
Total 30 50 31 62,0 19 38,0




In principle, the two tables are directly related. It could not be otherwise since the same judges was operating in the jury.
Instead, what comes to our eyes is (but we had already said this last week) the high level of calls due to bent knee compared to those of loss of contact.
Let's not forget the perplexities we had expressed last week (but which we reiterate today) to look at everything from another point of view, which we summarize in the following table.



50km   Starting Arrived Red Cards  Bent Knee Contact DQ DNF
50 women   10 9 10 8 2 - 1
50 men   14 5 34 20 14 5 4
Total   24 14 44 28 16 5 5


In the world of social networks, to which some athletes usually entrust their post-race moods, this twit had already appeared last 5.8.2019



Now one of the most representative athletes of the South American continent, after the 50km price increases even more the controversy:


We would like now that our readers reflected both on these three twitters entrusted by the athlete to the network in some difficult moments, but above all on the facts that determined these results that we report below. A serious reflection by everyone might perhaps help the "vocational crisis" of the specialty that is part of almost every country in the world except China and Japan.
Facts and causes: 
We would now like our readers to reflect on the following:
- in our memory this is the first time in a 50km that the number of women athletes on arrival is higher than that of male athletes
- in our memory this is one of the few times we have seen a male race end with almost all the athletes (except the USA athlete who finished  the race in 4:19:28) who have received at least one red card against them, without exception. Is it really possible that no one  other walks as required by the rules?
- the consequence is due in particular to the number of DQed in the men's competition, which combined with that of the DNF drastically lowered the number of arrivals
What are the causes of this high number of DQed, despite the use of the Penalty Rule?
We remember that if both races had been judged with the rules in force previously (3 red cards) the number of disqualifications would have been 6 in men and 1 in women.
Have we found ourselves faced with an excessive rigor of the judging body or does the technical preparation of the athletes it leave a lot to be desired ?
It would be interesting if each of us reflected on these numbers and then parameterized them with what happens at national level.
For our part we believe (and there is none to tale something amiss) that there is no possible future for a specialty in which it is barely possible to complete the medal table.
Sorry if we think so.