Five events are on the chopping block as the IOC looks to streamline its event lineup and possibly add more sports.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering dropping several track and field events from the Summer Olympics schedule, including the 200 meters and the 10,000 meters, according to a published report.
Citing a desire to cut the number of athletes participating in the Games to 10,500, the IOC is looking to streamline the event program.
The Age reports that five track and field events—the 200 meters, 10,000 meters, a men’s race walk event (most likely the 20K, reports the newspaper), the shot put and the triple jump—are on the chopping block.
“There was a gathering over dinner in Europe recently of senior athletics people who are very significant in influencing policy matters and I was present,” Brian Roe, a senior international technical official at the Olympics and world championships, told The Age. “The IOC clearly has a view to reduce the number of those competing in athletics events and options were raised for how to do that and clearly there was a strong view that the 10,000, 200, one race walk and shot put were the most at risk. The triple jump was the least of those five.”
Roe said the 10,000 meters could be turned into a 10K road race, a distance more popular on asphalt than on the track.
“The 10,000 is not really part of the track and field calendar any more other than at the Olympics and worlds, so there was an argument against it,” Roe said. “The feeling was that the main protagonists are nearly all road runners so if we are to continue with the distance, why not have an event to which millions around the world can directly relate—a 10K road race.”
No American has won a 10,000-meter Olympic gold medal since Billy Mills did so in 1964. Mo Farah of Great Britain was victorious at the 2012 London Games, ahead of American Galen Rupp and Ethiopian Tariku Bekele.
Jamaican sprinter Usan Bolt has won the last two Olympic titles in the 200 meters. The last American to win that race was Shawn Crawford in 2004.
More than 2,200 athletes competed in 47 track and field events at the 2012 Olympics. IOC officials are reportedly looking to add more sports to the docket, so removing some track and field events would free up some space.
The second most populous event at the Summer Olympics is swimming; 950 competitors participated in 34 events in London. The Age reports that sport may also have some events slashed.