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IAAF reverts to qualifying standards for Doha championships

The logo of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is seen in Monaco, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

(Reuters) - The IAAF will continue to use qualifying standards, not a new world rankings system, for the 2019 Doha world championships, athletics’ global governing body said on Sunday.

Feedback from athletes and members of the athletics community led to the decision to delay implementation of the ranking system, the IAAF said.

“We believe strongly that the world rankings is the best way for athletes to qualify for our major championships in future,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe said in Doha of a system the IAAF had earlier adopted.

“It is important our athletes and federations fully understand what is a complex system,” he added.

As a result, the world governing body will continue to use qualifying standards, with the IAAF Council determining the marks at its December meeting.

“We think sticking with the existing qualification system is the best solution for Doha because it gives our athletes, coaches and member federations the certainty they need at this point to prepare for the world championships,” Coe said.

“We trust that once everyone understands the world rankings system they will be confident about its introduction as the qualification system for future championships.”

The Association of Athletics Managers last week had asked the IAAF to delay implementation of the new system, saying “it seems clear that a trail period for the validity of the rankings is required before they can be used as the primary means to qualify for major championships.”

The athlete representatives group said it supported the concept of world rankings, but that there was significant unease about using the rankings system for Doha.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar