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LukasCPH

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Re: Track - General news thread
« Reply #120 on: March 09, 2016, 22:21 »
And now to one of my pet peeves when it comes to Worlds/Olympics qualifications: The limitations imposed upon non-European countries.

The UCI has set maximum quotas of qualified countries per continent for the various events:
MEN Team Sprint Sprint Keirin Team Pursuit Omnium
Europe 5 5 5 6 8
America 2 2 3 2 6
Asia 2 2 2 2 5
Oceania 2 1 1 2 2
Africa 1 1 1 1 1
WOMEN Team Sprint Sprint Keirin Team Pursuit Omnium
Europe 5 5 5 6 8
America 2 2 2 2 6
Asia 2 2 2 2 5
Oceania 2 1 1 2 2
Africa 1 1 1 1 1

In the Olympic, I have no objection to limiting the number of European countries and thereby opening up for non-European participation. This time, the most high-profile victim of this is the *gb women's team sprint who missed out on qualifying by 3 points - 964 vs. France's 967.
I also don't have a problem with maximum numbers for other continents in some (not all) disciplines, like the omnium: The limits for America or Asia could well be reached in those. Limiting Oceania (essentially *au & *nz) to only one country qualified for the sprint & keirin if not qualified for the team sprint is alright, too - even if it's academical since both countries can be expected to qualify for the team sprint every time. I guess Guam or Fiji will be happy if and when they get a world-class track sprinter ... :D

But the limits for America, Asia and Africa in the sprint disciplines and the pursuit are not only superfluous, they're actually hampering the internationality of the field.

Here are the examples from this year's qualifying:
- *my Azizulhasni Awang doesn't qualify for the men's ind. sprint despite scoring 95 points more and ranking 14 places higher than *cz Adam Ptacnik (the second Czech sprinter as *cz Pavel Kelemen is even higher in the rankings). *ca Hugo Barrette, *sr Jair Tjon En Fa, *co Anderson Parra, and *jp Tomoyuki Kawabata also rank above Ptacnik.

- *mx Daniela Gaxiola doesn't qualify for the women's ind. sprint despite scoring 86 points more and ranking 10 places higher than *ua Liubov Basova. *jp Kayono Maeda, *eg Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed Mohamed, and *jp Takako Ishii also rank above Basova.

- *ca Hugo Barrette doesn't qualify for the men's keirin despite scoring 148 points more and ranking 8 places higher than *az Sergey Omelchenko. *jp Kazunari Watanabe and *cn Chao Xu also rank above Omelchenko.

- *my Fatehah Mustapa doesn't qualify for the women's keirin despite scoring 378 points more and ranking 19 places higher than *az Olga Ismayilova. *usa Melissa Erickson, *jp Kanako Kase, *mx Daniela Gaxiola, and *jp Kayono Maeda also rank above Ismayilova.

Effectively, *my lose two possible Olympic spots by virtue of being from Asia, a continent where *cn *jp (for the men's sprint) and *hk *kr (for the women's sprint) have higher-ranked riders - despite being far higher-ranked than the last-qualified nation themselves. At least, though, Awang and Mustapa will both get to go to Rio and ride the other sprint event that they have qualified for.

But imagine how *ca Hugo Barrette and *mx Daniela Gaxiola must feel, being robbed of a Olympics participation purely because their country is on the wrong continent! :(
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  • Cyclingnews Women's WorldTour Correspondent
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