© Copyright – 2022 – Athletics Illustrated

India, a country with only one Olympic medal in athletics, ever, recently set their 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games standards that will require athletes to set national records in some cases. Some of the standards are faster than the Olympic benchmarks for entry. Some are slower.

For example in the 5000m event, the Tokyo Olympic standards were 13:13.50 for men and 15:10.00 for women. Athletes from India will need to run 13:00.00 and 15:40.00, respectively. Why the men’s time is so fast isn’t clear and the women’s time doesn’t correlate given either the national record or difference in gender at approximately 10 per cent. The men’s national record is 13:29.70, while the women’s national record is 15:15.89.

Meanwhile, the men’s 10,000m qualification time is downright slow at 29:30.00. The women’s 32:42.08. The national records are 28:02.89 and 31:50.47, respectively. The Olympic standards are 27:28.00 and 31:25.00 for the men’s and women’s qualification standards. A fair point to be made is that the Olympics are a much bigger event and more competitive. Below are other comparisons.

The sprints are just as confusing. The first number is the Asian Games Indian standards, while the second number is the current national record.

100m10.17s (10.26s)11.42s (11.17s)
200m20.61s (20.63s)23.00s (22.82s)
400m45.89s (45.21s)52.00s (50.79s)
Men’s times are listed on the left, while the women’s are on the right

In the men’s 100m, 200m national records will have to be broken just to qualify. While the men’s and women’s 400m and women’s 100m and 200m, the national records are faster than the standards, which makes sense.

In the marathon, the national records are 2:12:00 and 2:34:43. Not that fast, but the standards are low barrier by today’s standards at 2:22:39 and 2:38:19. The Olympic standards are 2:11:30 and 2:29:30, respectively. And apparently, some standards may be toughened for Paris 2024 due to the advent of supershoes.

In comparison, the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games standards are set differently by the Athletics Federation of India with the 100m sprints at 10.17 and 11.20. The 200m is at 20.50 and 23.00. And the 400m is at 45.40 and 51.32, respectively.

The 2022 European Athletics Championships are different again. This is an equivalent event drawing on a smaller population.

The marathons are set low at 2:14:00 and 2:32:00, but eight minutes in the men’s marathon and just six minute in the women’s event makes little sense.

1.45.90800 m2.00.40
3.36.001 500 m4.06.00
13.24.005 000 m15.25.00
28.15.0010 000 m32.20.00
The 800m to the 10,000m standards, men and women

For the Asian Games, each national body can set its own qualification standards. The Olympic standards are set by the International Olympic Committee. In all fairness, quotas are set for each nation based on performances from the past. While India does better at the Asian Games, it is confusing as to whether they are trying to motivate athletes to perform at a high level or just keep their quota down.

The Asian Games are scheduled to go Sept. 10 to 25 in Hangzhou, China. The Commonwealth Games go July 28 to Aug. 8 and the European Championships Aug. 15 to Aug. 21.