Olympic Qualifying Flawed Competition Rules

This story was interesting.  Brian Clay missed a hurdle in the US Olympic decathalon qualifying, scored a zero in that event, and failed to make the team.  He was the defending gold medal champion in 2008.

This is a defect in the qualifying tournament rules.  If the goal is “field the best team”, then the best qualifying tournament rule would be “Each athlete runs a decatholon 5-10 times over a period of 2-3 months.  The best scores or the best average scores qualify.”

It is silly to disqualify the best athlete, because of one error.

If you want exciting TV, the way to choose the Olympic team is at a single qualifying meet.  If you want to field the best possible team, you should have 5-10 qualifying meets, and use the best scores or the best average scores.

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