Beat The DrumBy
SYDNEY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2000 - The
Olympic Games have just begun and when the short-distance track events
commence on Friday, they are bound to be bedevilled by false starts. Yet
these are completely unnecessary. After all, if the ninety-odd members
of a symphony orchestra can start together, surely eight sprinters
should be able to do likewise? (I do admit that unlike the sprinters,
the musicians aim to finish together.)
Over the past fifty
years, I have suggested to sprint athletes that an
internationally-accepted drumbeat pattern to be played immediately after
the "get set" instruction and leading to the gun would mean
that all doubt would be removed from the athletes' minds about the
precise moment of the "off".
Here is a possible
On your marks.
Bar one: crotchet,
Bar two: triplet, triplet
Bar three: Off
have spoken to many athletes about this. Nearly all agree that it would
work - but immediately say that if it were put into into practice, they
would never be able to steal a start. Belle mentalité!
added advantage of a pre-established start pattern is that it would
bring about the abandonment of the present absurd convention whereby a
sprinter is deemed to have "broken" if his start is
simultaneous with the firing of the gun.
Let us see what
happens at Sydney. Perhaps these games will turn out to be a false-start
free zone. Perhaps on the other hand, we shall witness a massive
scandal. Who knows?
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