he current leader of the IAAF Grand Prix Standings, Wilson Kipketer, can only be overtaken for the men’s Overall Grand Prix title if he loses the 800m comprehensively or one of his close rivals breaks a world record at the 13th IAAF Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka on Saturday September 13.
With world record bonus points from Stockholm, Zürich and Cologne and a total of eight Grand Prix wins, the Dane has a commanding lead of 13 points from last year’s Overall winner Komen. Kipketer could afford to finish fourth in the 800m yet still stay ahead of Komen even if the Kenyan wins the 5000m. In this example, the Dane would have totalled 102 points (87 existing points + 15 for fourth place), and Komen 101 (74+27)
As Kipketer has not been beaten at 800m since the 1995 IAAF Grand Prix Final, it seems safe to assume he will win again, in which case a new world record is required by his closest challengers. A new record is worth 18 bonus points; this would be enough for Komen, Riedel or El Guerrouj to catch Kipketer. It should be noted Komen has set one world record this year (at 5000m), while both the German and Moroccan have come reasonably close to the record in their events. A world record equalled in the Final is worth nine points; this will only be enough to overtake Kipketer if he is defeated.
It is quite possible that Kipketer himself could set another world record. He would then be unbeatable in terms of the Grand Prix, but in any case he seems poised to win the overall title with a new record points total.
MEN - Current standings
|1||Wilson Kipketer||DEN||87 Grand Prix Points|
|4||Hicham El Guerrouj||MAR||72|
The women’s event is much closer, because the two top contenders - Astrid Kumbernuss and Deon Hemmings - look to be heading for similar scores. Both women have a maximum 72 points, each having eight Grand Prix victories this season. Assuming they both win again in Fukuoka, the overall title will go to the woman whose performance in the final earns most points on the IAAF Scoring Tables of Athletics (1996 Revised Edition).
Consider the closely-matched personal and seasonal bests of the two principal performers:
|Personal Bests Performance||Score|
|Kumbernuss (Shot Put)||21.22 (1995/97)||1239|
|Hemmings (400m Hurdles)||52.82 (1996)||1247|
|1997 Bests Performance||Score|
|Kumbernuss (Shot Put)||21.22||1239|
|Hemmings (400m Hurdles)||52.98||1243|
The tables favour Hemmings slightly, but Kumbernuss has the advantage of competing after the Jamaican, so will know exactly what to do in order to win.
The two leaders have close rivals in their respective events, so it is conceivable that either could be beaten. If each finish second with Kaspárková winning the Triple Jump, then the Czech could take the title. In such a scenario, all three women would total 93 points (72+21 for Kumbernuss & Hemmings, 66+27 for Kaspárková). Whoever has the best scoring performance on the day would win; Kaspárková's 15.20 triple jump personal best this year would be worth 1249 points - more than the best performances of Kumbernuss or Hemmings as noted above. Should either succeed in such circumstances, it would be the first time under current rules that an Overall title had gone to an athlete who did not win at the Grand Prix final. If there is a tie on both Grand Prix and Scoring Table points, the Grand Prix Awards will be shared.
WOMEN - Current standings
Points at the Grand Prix Final
|Place||Grand Prix Points|
World Record Broken = 18
World Record Equalled = 9
Awards at the Grand Prix Final
Field event no height or no mark = US$2500
World Record (broken, not equalled) = US$100,000
Check out the IAAF Internet site for preview, report and results from Fukuoka
END Downloadable .PDF version of the original Press Release