It’s great times will stop on Sunday for Swiss Alex Wilson (30) in Marietta near Atlanta (USA). 9.84 seconds over 100 metres: a European record! 19.89 seconds over 200 metres: a Swiss record!
The jubilation is great in Switzerland. Makes sense: 100 meters a Basel driver hits the track is the second fastest of the year. Does Switzerland suddenly have an Olympic candidate for precious metals over 100 metres?
Wilson’s times this season: Not great
This would be awesome. It is not completely excluded. But upon closer examination, there are a number of questions. The most important is also the simplest: how could that be?
In 2021, nothing indicated that the Basel-based company could take a big step forward. Wilson’s fastest time so far this season over the 100m is 10.38sec which he put on the track in Lucerne at the end of June, over 200m ran 20.64. Far from his previous records (10.08 and 19.98). He has had back problems for a long time this season and has been unable to train fully. It makes sense that it is gaining momentum in the direction of the Olympic Games (from July 23) in Tokyo. But is this stark increase realistic?
Hardly anyone believes that time is real
For many in the sports world, the issue is clear: Swiss athletics insiders are raising their eyebrows at Blake’s behest. Hardly anyone could truly believe that everything had gone so well.
Others go further. “We know this isn’t 100 percent true,” US sprint expert Rana Rider wrote on Twitter.
But how can the time of the fable be explained? What speaks for Wilson is that he appears to be in great shape after tough training camps in Jamaica and Las Vegas (USA). After three surgeries (foot, hip and hand) in recent years he can finally train and run again without pain. And Puma recently launched new running shoes that, like the cool shoes from Nike, should enable faster times thanks to the carbon plate on the sole. In addition, conditions – 30 degrees Celsius, with tail winds of about two meters per second – were practically perfect.
“It could all be for a few hundred to hundreds,” says an insider. “For a good while. But that doesn’t explain such a huge jump.”
Did the launch system fail?
How do 9.84 and 19.89 come in instead? A possible explanation can be found in the timing. Was a light barrier turned on too early? Is there another error? According to reports, there should be a staging system at the Marietta Athletics Stadium that does not meet international standards. They don’t measure the pressure the runners are standing with on the starting block – and so they can’t indicate if there has been a false start.
The World League and the European Union will begin verifying the record in the next few days. It comes down to whether everything is going well – and whether the technical requirements for time measurement meet the requirements.
Coleman’s record was canceled in 2018
So it’s possible that Alex Wilson did nothing wrong. And we still have to concede his record again.
This would put him in a prominent position. American sprint star Christian Coleman saw his indoor world record over 60 meters cancel in 2018 because the facility in Clemson, South Carolina, did not have a proper starting system.
Wilson has yet to comment on Sunday’s two sprints. He will fly to Atlanta airport early Monday morning (US time) to fly back to Switzerland. A statement from Wilson is not expected until Tuesday.
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