The stage of records. Olympics 2024: jumps and throws into the future

The competition field is divided into five: the track and platforms with different surfaces are being studied

For now it is a hypothesis, a project. But as soon as the mark of less than 1000 days from the start of the Olympics in Paris 2024 has turned, it is a suggestive hypothesis, a credible project. The track, in the near future, perhaps starting precisely from that of the Stade de France which will host the next Games, will be built with different materials and products depending on the area and, therefore, on the specialties. Today the regulations of the international federation do not allow this. But technological evolution gallops and, as happened with shoes, even the competition sectors can be modified to be as performing as possible. Intentionally, the 400-meter ring will have a density, elasticity or stiffness different from those of the detachment area of ​​the top platform, which will not be the same as that of the rod or the long / triple and let alone the area of ​​the acyclic phase of the javelin, the final one of the run-up.

Made in Italy

To carry on the discussion, after the successes in Tokyo – it was calculated that the quality of the materials used at the New National Stadium has increased the average value of performance by 1-2% – is in the first instance Mondo, a company from Cuneo based in Gallo. d’Alba, which supplies the Olympic tracks from Montreal 1976 and, exclusively, from Barcelona 1992. “The idea – explains the international manager Andrea Vallauri – starts from afar and in full compliance with the regulations in force for about 25 years. , to guarantee the health and physical integrity of the athletes. In this sense, the fork within which to operate is restricted. Although in truth, in the stressed areas of the surfaces, those of greatest wear and tear, some small changes are allowed “. To clarify: the average thickness of a track is 13-14 millimeters: in the stress zones it becomes 20. “But it is also clear to World Athletics – says Vallauri – that the feet of a sprinter, to perform at their best, need of a different surface from that of, for example, a javelin player, who needs braking resistant materials. The track, in any case, will continue to appear all the same, because any interventions will be made in the substrates “.

Vetter case

We speak of absorption, of clinging. Emblematic is what happened to the German Johannes Vetter at the Games, with seven races over 90 meters between April and June, the great favorite of the eve. The former world champion, after the difficulties revealed in qualifying, in the final, with 82.52, finished in ninth place without exceeding the cut of the first three attempts. To then blame the platform, in his opinion unsuitable for such an event and in any case for his characteristics and his team mates. “With Johannes and his group – says Vallauri – as with many top athletes, we have been collaborating for some time. There are many possible causes of what happened in Tokyo, assuming something has happened: we are verifying them. Vetter himself, in the meantime, at a conference of the ‘ European association, has recently promoted the hypothesis we are talking about “.


Some simulations have already been done. The area of ​​interest, in the jumps, near the take-off zone, is that of the last 3-4 meters for the platform of the high, of the last ten for that of the pole and of the last dozen for that of the long- triple. In the javelin we speak of about 8. “The means and tools of research are increasingly advanced – says Vallauri – and the time for change is ripe. It just takes a little bit of courage. For Paris, if we are entrusted with the task again and after all the necessary reliability tests, we will be ready ». The Stade de France, run by a consortium and home to the 2003 World Cup, has not hosted athletics since 2016, when the Diamond League meeting, after 17 years, was moved to Charlety. In 2023 it will also be the main field of the Rugby World Cup. But in 2024, for Olympic races, jumps and throws, it will be a gem again. And it is fresh news: the stadium of Tokyo, that of the blue companies, contrary to what has been established, will continue to host athletics events. Right so.

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The stage of records. Olympics 2024: jumps and throws into the future