'We shall be guided by athletes' thoughts'- Seb Coe addresses issue of changing long-jump format

ATHLETICS 'We shall be guided by athletes' thoughts'- Seb Coe addresses issue of changing long-jump format

Abigael Wafula 18:09 - 01.03.2024

World Athletics president Seb Coe has insisted that they involve athletes in their decision-making and that their move to change the long jump is for the greater good of the athletes.

World Athletics president Seb Coe has insisted that the athletes are their key stakeholders as they seek to make changes to the long jump format.

Speaking during the World Indoor Championships pre-race press conference on Thursday night, Coe emphasised that World Athletics never make decisions without consulting athletes and that they communicate with them occasionally.

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“The athletes are our key and core stakeholders and we have an Athletes Commission and a big chunk of our council meeting was devoted to these types of discussions and Valerie Adams and Matthew Hughes were leading on those.

“They’ve got outreach programs and we speak to the athletes all the time and of course, we shall be guided by what they are thinking, I was an athlete myself and I wanted to have input and we welcome that,” Coe said.

He added that there are investors in the sport who do not want to work with them when things are going in the wrong direction or stagnating.

Coe noted that everything World Athletics is doing is for the good of the athletes in the years to come. He cited that the long jump has approximately 30% failed attempts, something that makes the event boring

“I think it’s really important, our sport is 150 years old and there are elements that you want to protect. We did a lot of research after the World Championships with the people in the stadiums and those watching from home.

“We are still harvesting that and still understanding but they are telling us some quite key things. If you look at field events, we are trying to make sure the sport moves forward in every element.

"30% of long jumps are failed attempts but I’m not saying that is the only remedy and it is a very hectic one. We want to continue to create a good landscape, particularly financially,” he said.

Meanwhile, World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon had in an interview disclosed that the new format would see all jumps legalised so long as they took off from a new “jump zone”.

The CEO believes that the move would see greater distances achieved and also see to it that the sport would be open to accusations of reducing the skill level required as athletes would no longer need to perfect the timing of their run-ups.