ITU releases statement regarding course problems

At the April 30 International Triathlon Union World Championships, an error in the women's race resulted in a running course that was over 2K short of the proscribed 10K distance. The ITU has issued the following statement addressing this controversial snafu:

Understandably, there has been a lot of speculation around the reason and responsibility for the short course for the Elite Women in the Qantas 2000 ITU Triathlon World Championships.

Both the ITU and the local organizing committee take this matter very seriously and have studied all relevant documentation very carefully to clarify the cause, and establish what steps can be taken to prevent a reoccurrence.

Having studied the original paperwork, it is clear that a typographical error was made by the company contracted to ratify the distance of the course. The error occurred in the process of transferring the information from the original plan to the multimedia presentation document used to create subsequent event materials.

In order to provide a 10K course within precise Olympic tolerances, the ITU's Operational Manual recommends the employment of professional surveyors and the company contracted for the event was a highly reputable Perth firm.

With the error occurring at this stage of source documentation, it would be difficult if not impossible to detect by either the Local Organizing Committee or any ITU Technical Delegate.

In this circumstance, the possibility of correction could only have arisen if a person with local knowledge had been so familiar with the location as to intuit an error and request re-measurement.

In order to safeguard against a repetition, the ITU will consider introducing measures to verify course accuracy once the physical course has been laid out.

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