1676508384 Mo Katir breaks the European record over 3000 meters on

The price of breaking a track and field record? Gutted slippers

The price of breaking a track and field record Gutted

It was already Thursday in Liévin when Mo Katir was able to leave the sports hall. He did it drunk with joy, with an empty bladder and without the white shoes in his gym bag. They followed on from breaking the European 3000m record just after 10.15pm on Wednesday by a mark (7m24.68s) that would have been a world record had it not been for the incredible presence of another athlete in the French race The Ethiopian Lamecha Girma ran even faster (7m 23.81s).

When asked what it cost him to break the record, Spaniard Katir, who was born in Alcazarquivir (Morocco) in 1998 and has lived in Mula (Murcia) since he was a child, was delighted to have broken a European record in Europe (The previous one was the Spaniard Adel Mechaal, who had reached 7:30.82 minutes in New York), he replied that five months of preparation, five months away from home, training at the peak of the Sierra Nevada. Later, the night was extended because he had to pass two mandatory exams for his brand to be approved, the anti-doping control of his life and the control of shoes set up by the international federation to deal with the tide of technological innovation, who flood the tide athletics.

He routinely completed the physiological doping control, so many he has already passed in his life as a record holder (he holds four Spanish records, 1,500m, 5,000m and 3,000m outdoor, apart from the European 3,000m indoor track); The technological one left him rather surprised and saddened, especially when the officer who picked up the white Asics Metaspeed MD, a registered prototype, in which he had run after Girma and the record, told him to say goodbye to them, that would he not see them again because they would be sent to an independent surveyor who would slit them open to see if their old device was compliant and has what the manufacturer says. The same fate will doom the Nike Dev that Girmay used. It’s what the regulations dictate, they explained: whenever there’s a world record, you have to check the footwear before homologation. Katir’s situation was ambiguous: while he wasn’t the new world record holder, he had in fact broken the previous world record, so they had to investigate him.

Aguado deplores a situation caused by the fear of technological doping, the door of which has been opened under pressure from the major manufacturers of World Athletics itself (WA, the international federation chaired by Sebastian Coe), when previously in its regulations it contained a sacrilegious Notion admitted the shoes could support performance and not just protect your feet. “At this point,” explains Aguado, “where do you draw the line? how do you control

The measure means not only that the athlete can no longer use shoes worth more than 300 euros, but also that he can remember a great night, a record, which he might want to keep in a showcase or donate to a sports museum , gets lost… for fans to fantasize.

“That’s how it is,” says Xavier Aguado, a professor of biomechanics at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, who rips up used slippers in his labs so his students can see what they’re hiding. “But it is necessary to gut them because there may be hidden radiolucent elements that cannot be seen on a scanner.”

The first WA regulation stipulated that athletes should wear shoes that were accessible to all, that anyone, and not just the big names sponsored by the manufacturers, could buy them in a store or over the internet. Shortly after, they added an exception: some athletes have the right to use prototypes provided to them by the manufacturer for all competitions except World Cups and Olympic Games and only for one year.

Most brands are developing prototypes for the Paris Games, including On, the shoes and racquet owned by Mario García Romo, who broke the Spanish record for the indoor track mile in New York a week ago (3:51, 79s). “Technology helps a lot with recovery, it helps a lot to improve times. People talk about the shoes, but the only thing they do is that you improve your efficiency, you can use all the energy you produce to go faster, the heat doesn’t just go away,” he explains Athlete from Salamanca. “The folks at On have already made great shoes and now we’re using prototypes for 2024.”

García Romo will be able to demonstrate his effectiveness and efficiency again at next Wednesday’s meeting in Madrid, where he will attack the national record of 1,500m (the 3m 33.32s set by Andrés Díaz in 1999), and he certainly wouldn’t mind to beat the distance world record, the 3m 30.60s set by Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who has announced his retirement from running in Madrid, even at the risk that his brilliant On Cloudspike Dev will stick nails in the clouds of Swiss technology and end up gutted in a lab .

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