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It certainly was a qualification event, in terms of points, for the mixed relay - and quite a generous one, as it happens with the same 800 max points as a world series mixed relay event. I think only there may be only one mixed relay scoring event left, the World Series vent in Abu Dabai next march, before the cutoff on 31 March. I don't think there are any continental champs left to score in...https://www.triathlon.org/uploads/docs/itusport_2018-individual-oq-ranking_20171210.pdf The top 7 nations in the rankings get an auto 2+2 athletes in both individual and relay race, while a further three can win 2+2 and relay spots in the final qualifier mixed relay race proper in May in Chengdu - the lucky top 7 will, of course, be excluded from that race, as will any lucky countries who've managed to hit 2+2 'organically' within the individual rankings - the indy rankings will award 26 places 'sequentially' on rankings, but will a) ignore the first two for the 'lucky 7' (sensibly enough), and will also, of course ignore any from a nation that has hit it's max of 3 per NOC in that individual event - several US, GB and French, for example, will be skipped over - notably GB for example, hit it's women limit as high as world ranked number 7 (non standford, currently GB #4 - which is not to say GB can't select Non, they can, but they only get three spots, come what may) - the effect is that ranking qualifications could very easily go into the mid forties early fifties, and even into sixties and seventies, despite technically only going to #26 Given all that, my rough and ready calculation is that no team outside the top 7 can catch Germany, who are currently 6th, even if Germany don't even turn up in Abu Dabai - The Netherlands, currently seventh, can be caught, theoretically by Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Canada, but Germany are simply too far ahead. so, to all intents and purposes the following teams have already mathematically secured a minimum 2+2 from the mixed relay: FRA, AUS, USA, GBR, NZL and GER. The following has a guaranteed host 2+2: JPN Slightly more mathematically tenuous, I think the following have guaranteed relay spots by dint of having athletes who cannot be squeezed out of 2+2 individual spots; Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, South Africa. The three nations most likely to need the Chengdu event, it seems to me are likely to come from Canada, Russia, Portugal, Norway and Brazil - decently strong relay teams, with some very strong individuals, but lacking in numbers (all 5 have an automatic 2+1 from individual rankings) unless a final qualifier makes a late surge. Canada, however, could still realistically take the seventh spot through the Abu Dabai event, in which case the netherlands are probably safe anyway, and it becomes three from 4.
The Rugby (15s) world cup used this system, after a fashion - 5 groups of 4 produce 5 group winners, 5 runners up and a best placed third team - the runners up and the third team played off for three Quarter final berths. It was a mess. So rugby changed to a 4 group of 5 system, and broadly speaking, it works great - top 2 go to quarters, third wins at least guaranteed entry to next world cup, always plenty to play for. In Olympic sevens - if we are sticking with 12 teams, I'd strongly push for 2 groups of 6 and a repechage/modified page system : If groups A and B then after group stage #1: A1 v B2 #2: B1 v A2 #3: A3 v B4 #4: A4 v B3 #1B: A5 v B6 #2B: A6 v B5 #5: Loser #1 v Winner #4 #6: Loser #2 v Winner #3 #3B: Loser #1B v Loser #2B for 11th place #4B: Winner #1B v Winner #2B for 9th place #5B: Loser #3 v Loser #4 for 7th place #6B: Loser #5 v Loser 6# for 5th place #7: Winner #5 v Winner #6 for bronze #8: Winner #1 v Winner #2 for gold and silver For ease of public reference, simply call the brackets the Gold route (#1.#2,->#8), the Bronze route (#3,#4.->#5,#6->,#7) and the Placings (All the #B's) route It's two more games per team, which might stretch the comp a smidge (3 days rather than 2), but really not that much for each team (2 extra matches, tops, over 3 days) - and frankly, a bit more rugby sevens will hurt no-one - it was one of THE hits of Rio
Aquatics - Diving   3m springboard (m/w) 10m Platform (m/w) Synchronised 3m Springboard (m/w) Synchronised 10m Platform (m/w) Team (mixed) : teams of 1 or 2 men and women - key is that women do 4 dives - 2 from 3, 2 from 10 - men do same - total 8 dives - no extra quota places required Open Air High Dive (m/w) Aquatics - Swimming  50m Freestyle (m/w) 100m Freestyle (m/w) 200m Freestyle (m/w) 400m Freestyle (m/w) 800m Freestyle (m/w) 1500m Freestyle (m/w) 4x100m Freestyle Relay (m/w) 4x200m Freestyle Relay (m/w) 100m Breaststroke (m/w) 200m Breaststroke (m/w) 100m Butterfly (m/w) 200m Butterfly (m/w) 100m Backstroke (m/w) 200m Backstroke (m/w) 200m Individual Medley (m/w) 400m Individual Medley (m/w) 4x100m Medley Relay (m/w/mixed) 10km Open Water (m/w) 200m freestyle obstacle (m/w) Aquatics - Synchronised Swimming  Women's Duet (w) Women's Quad (w) Aquatics - Water Polo  Tournament (m/w) Archery  Individual Recurve (m/w) Team Recurve (m/w/mixed) Individual compound (m/w) Team compound (mixed) Individual Field archery (open) Athletics  100m (m/w) 200m (m/w) 400m (m/w) 800m (m/w) 1500m (m/w) 5000m (m/w) 10,000m (m/w) 110m/100m Hurdles (m/w) 400m Hurdles (m/w) 3000m Steeplechase (m/w) 4x100m Relay (m/w) 4x400m Relay (m/w/mixed) Marathon (m/w) Marathon Cup (mixed team) : aggregated times 20km Race Walk (m/w) 50km Race Walk (m) Long Jump (m/w) Triple Jump (m/w) High Jump (m/w) Pole Vault (m/w) Shot Put (m/w) Discus Throw (m/w) Javelin Throw (m/w) Hammer Throw (m/w) Heptathlon (w) Decathlon (m) Badminton  Singles (m/w) Doubles (m/w/mixed) Mixed team Baseball/Softball  Tournament (m/w) Cricket  T20i Tournament (m/w) Basketball  3x3 Tournament (m/w) Tournament (m/w) Boxing  8 Men's weights 5 Women's weights Canoeing - Slalom  K-1 (m/w) C-1 (m/w) C-2 (m/w) Team relay Canoeing - Sprint  K-1 200m (m/w) K-1 1000m (m/w) K-2 1000m (m/w) K-4 1000m (m/w) C-1 200m (m/w) C-1 1000m (m/w) C-2 1000m (m/w) Cycling - BMX  BMX Race (m/w) Park (m/w) Cycling - Mountain Bike  Men's/Women's Cross Country Race (m/w) Downhill (M/w) Cycling - Road  Road Race (m/w) Time Trial (m/w) Cycling - Track  Individual Sprint (m/w) Team Sprint (m/w) Team Pursuit (m/w) Keirin (m/w) Omnium (m/w) Points (m/w) Individual Pursuit (M/w) Madison (m/w) Equestrian  Individual Dressage (mixed) Team Dressage (mixed) Individual Jumping (mixed) Team Jumping (mixed) Individual Eventing (mixed) Team Eventing (mixed) Fencing  Individual Foil (m/w) Team Foil (mixed) Individual Épée (m/w) Team Épée (mixed) Individual Sabre (m/w) Team Sabre (mixed) Field Hockey  Tournament (m/w) Football  Futsal (m/w) Football 11-a-side (w) Golf  Individual Stroke Play (m/w) Foursomes Match Play(m/w) Fourballs MatchPlay(mixed) Gymnastics - Artistic  Individual All-Around (m/w) Team All-Around (m/w) Floor (m/w) Vault (m/w) Pommel Horse (m) Rings (m) Parallel Bars (m) Horizontal Bar (m) Balance Beam (w) Uneven Bars (w) Gymnastics - Rhythmic  Individual All-Around (w) Trio All-Around (w) Individual Ball (w) Individual Club (w) Individual Ribbon (w) Individual Hoop (w) Gymnastics - Trampoline  Individual (m/w) Pairs (m/w) Handball  Tournament (m/w) Judo  7 Men's weights 7 women's weights Team Event (mixed) Karate  4 Men's Kumite weights 4 Women's Kumite weights Modern Pentathlon  Individual (m/w) Rowing  Single Sculls (m/w) Double Sculls (m/w) Lightweight double Sculls (m/w) Quadruple Sculls (m/w) Pairs (m/w) Lightweight pairs (m/w) Fours (m/w) Eights (m/w) Rugby Sevens  Tournament (m/w) Sailing  RS:X (m/w) Laser (m) Laser Radial (w) Finn (m) 470 (m/w) 49er (m) 49er FX (w) Nacra 17 (mixed) Shooting  10m Air Rifle (m/w) 50m Rifle Three Positions (m/w) Mixed Team 10m Air Rifle (mixed) 10m Air Pistol (m/w) 25m Pistol (w) 25m Rapid Fire Pistol (m) Mixed Team 10m Air Pistol (mixed) Trap (m/w) Skeet (m/w) Mixed Team Trap (mixed) Skateboarding  Park (m/w) Street (m/w) Sport Climbing  Lead (m/w) Sprint (m/w) Boulder (m/w) All-around (m/w) Surfing  Shortboard (m/w) Table Tennis  Singles (m/w) Doubles (mixed) Team (m/w) Taekwondo  6 Men's weights 6 Women's weights Tennis  Singles (m/w) Doubles (m/w/mixed) Team Matchplay (mixed) Triathlon  Sprint distance Race (m/w) Olympic distance race (m/w) Mixed Team Relay (mixed) Volleyball - Beach  Tournament (m/w) Volleyball - Indoor  Tournament (m/w) Weightlifting  7 Men's weights 7 Women's weights Strongman discipline openweight (m/w) Wrestling  6 Men's Freestyle weights 4 Men's Greco-Roman weights 5 Women's Freestyle weights 3 Women's Greco-Roman weights DanceSport  Latin All-Around (mixed) Ballroom All-Around (mixed) Bowling  Individual bowls (m/w) Pairs bowls (m/w) Tenpin (m/w) Boules (m/w) Squash  individual (m/w) Doubles (m/w) Kendo  Individual (m/w) Total medel events: 350 in 38 sports Total athletes: --- Days of competition: 19 (including Day -2, Day -1 and Day 0 before the Opening Ceremony)
Equestrianism A niche, expensive sport, but a tradition and well like one. The format for both the dressage and the showjumping is interminable. The end of the jumping this year was superb, a six way jump off - but by god it dragged getting to that point - the combining of some, but not all rounds for Team and individual jumping purposes is also confusing, I think, for the uninitiated. I'm tempted, to be honest, to an idea perhaps reminiscent of Artistic Gymnastics 2 days of qualification jumping - I'm easy as to whether to score by aggregate or best ride, or even a combination - three rounds with the best two aggregated - with the best eight teams going forward to the Jumping final, and the best 24-32 individuals, capped perhaps at three per nation, qualifying for the individual. It's tempting to look at the Canoe Slalom practice of acknowledging faults with simple time penalties - but I'm forcibly reminded by those who know the sport better, and they are right, that Jumping is very specifically not a RACE, any more than gymnastics or high jump - the issue is execution of skill, not primarily speed - speed only becoming an issue at the very last with jump offs Anything that can replicate the excitement of the Individual jump-off in 2016, or the team one in 2012 is probably worth keeping, so aside from the qualification 'simplification', I'd be best advised to leave well alone. Dressage, like Synchro swimming and figure skating is beyond me - I can't deal sensibly as a sport with something that really looks more like art - particularly when one of the artists is a beast not comprehending what 'sport' is. I'd like to see some more 'global' quality - the same handful of nations, from the same small north west corner of Europe - a sort of Germanic trinity of GBR, NED and GER, always dominate, with the US sneaking a medal if one of the teams has a 'lame' horse. Both jumping and eventing have more variety than that. I'm pretty sure numbers could be shave in all three events, but I'm minded to leave these alone, for now, unless we end up with problems later. Fencing First major change, a la archery, the replacement of gendered team events with unisex ones. currently Fencing is allowed 4 team events, but has six possibles, so rotates the 'unlucky' sword every cycle - this seems obtuse to me - again, instead of teams of three of each gender, I'd propose a single team of 4, 2 of each gender, in each sword. Mathemtaically, if we assume 9 teams per event at moment- we have 9 x 4 x 3 = 108 'team' swordsmen and women, despite two groups - say women's epee and men's sabre - missing every cycle. I propose teams of 4, but in 3 events - Mixed epee, mixed foil, mixed sabre - I appreciate that requires format jigging as men v women contests are probably unworkable physically, so instead of 9 mini bouts (all three play all three), we probably with up with 8 minibouts in two halves both men play both men, both women play both women (2x2, x2) - with 9 teams the numbers are the same - 9 x 4 x 3 and every fencer can still win two golds, but now no sword ever misses out, and we have the much loved gender 'equality' - Given that sword events would continue to be men and women separate at non-Olympic level, some qualification ranking jiggery pokerry is probably required. But here comes the clever bit - the old system gave each 'team' 3 swords men in the individual events - 24-27 of the individual field, which was then filled to 64 by up to 40 other nations. under the new system 9 extra places are freed up in the individual event - more than enough in fact to allow for four more mixed teams (4x2=8) while not reducing number of countries with entrants. In effect, the mixed events would actually allow 12 teams, rather than 8 or 9, with no increase in fencers totally, no reduction in countries involved, yet no sword being left out. Plus in the old team events each fencer has three bouts per match, and three matches - 9 bouts in total. Under the new system each fencer has only two bouts per match, but four matches, again a near identical total of 8 Football Hopeless, Hopeless, Hopeless. FIFA won't budge, clubs won't budge, but the sport can't be ignored entirely. Here's my sad attempt to square the circle. Women's tournament. Leave as is, but more double headers and fewer venues. Men's. Oh boy, this is gonna sting..... An eight team tournament, on very similar if not identical lines to the Confederations's Cup. Full teams, not U-23. Qualifers - Host, World Cup winner, Reigning chaps of Europe, South America, North America, Africa, Asia, Oceania. In case of duplication, rankings. As quick and clean as possible, perhaps even single knockout. Alongside, either Futsal or Beach soccer, whichever is a better fit, more popular, a single men's 12 team tournament, 2 groups of 6. - By my reckoning, saving 8 full squads from the outdoor football tournament should free enough spaces to add the 12 team futsal or beach soccer tournament. and Futsal/Beach soccer - like Rugby 7's is a much better fit, and the players of that format would really appreciate the Olympics opportunity. Equality would be preserved in that the women's 11 a side format would be larger than the 8 team male version, a more 'World Cup' like experience...
Page 3 Cont'd Canoe Slalom. VERY much EXTEND programme. If you're gonna build such a specialist venue, get your money's worth. Set, including Additional Slalom events : Men C1, Men C2, Men K1, Women C1, Women K1, Team C 'Relay' Team K Relay This would justify the addition of K1 women, so another 16-20 paddlers. Team Relay would simply be an event using aggregate times in relay succession - a la luge - Canoe Slalom relay for Men C1, Men C2, Women C1, so no extra required, followed by Men K1, women K1, no extra required beyond the already added Women K1 Currently, numbers are (Rio) MK1 : 21. MC1 : 19 MC2 : 12(x2) WK1 : 21 : total 85 paddlers Suggested new numbers : MK1 : 18 : MC1 : 16 MC2 12 (x2) WK1 : 16 WC1 : 16 : total 90 paddlers In doing this, 6 highest ranking nations would need to get both MK1 and WK1 seats, and 6 get both MC1, MC2 and WC1 seats, to produce a minimum 6 boats for the two team relays - that ranking could probably be done using the World and Continental champs so just 5 extra paddlers gets you 4 extra events, closer to gender equality, mixed relays, and effectively three extra days use out of the venue. If IOC felt generous to give an extra 10 paddlers to get to 100, as two extra boats per race, except MK1 which is already at 18. Sprint Like Rowing, this is difficult. So many events, so few slots. Two genders, four crews, two boats, two distances. That's hard, but this is my stab at it Currently, 14 events, total athletes 255 Principles 1: No C4 boats 2: C/K1 and 2 at 200m, C/K1 and K4 at 1000m 3 : Gender equality 4 : as close to neutral on additional athletes as possible 5 : A rough balance between 200 and 1000/500, with slight lean to 200 as the 'tv' friendly event Men C1 200 - 14 C2 200 - 10 K1 200 - 14 K2 200 - 10 C1 1000 - 14 K1 1000 - 14 K4 1000 - 8 Women C1 200 - 14 C2 200 - 10 K1 200 - 14 K2 200 - 10 C1 500 - 14 K1 1000 - 14 K4 1000 - 8 Total athletes : 256 Cycling Oy vey! Ok. Goal here is restoration of blue riband events (ind Pursuit, Kilo), while capping numbers broadly across disciplines to what they currently are. In effect, there will be significant squad limits, and nations will have to choose carefully to prioritise events Currently the road race pelotons are 144 for men, 68 for women. That's shavable on the men's side. Male side should reduce largest squads from 5 to 4, and the overall peloton from 144 to 110. women's peloton to increase to 80, for a total saving of 26 cyclists On track cycling, LARGE increase of events does not require a large increase in numbers. Numbers there are currently calculated more or less as team events + add ons, and that would continue - but the addons would no longer be to individual events, but to 'sprint' or 'endurance', based on world rankings. So would add - Men and women's Kilo, Indy Pursuit, Points Race and possibly Scratch race. Current Track quota is 189 riders total New schematic 8 teams rather than 9 in each team event: Team Sprint : Men 8 x 3, Women 8 x 2 Team Pursuit : Men 8 x 4, Women 8 x 4 total to date 104 Then Men 24 'sprint', 30 'endurance', Women 24 'sprint', 30 endurance Max 2 per nation, or 1 for those already qualified teams - who can also act as sub for the teams New total 212 - that's 23 more than currently - but we just saved 26 from Road, so we're actually 3 to the good, and now have a much more representative track programme. Omnium would be restricted to 1 per nation, including nations with teams, and only a top ranked 24, all other events can be two per nation, with heats as required. I'd make minimal if any changes to BMX, though motos should be 6 riders per heat, not 8, and a BMX time trial for riders already qualified should be considered. I'd leave mountain bike unchanged.
Currently we have two groups of 6 = 15 x 2 = 30 matches, plus quarters, semis, final and bronze = 38 match total Under my system we have 51 matches total (45 x 1, plus w/c, semis and medal matches). - approx 1 extra match per day average. I don't think that's insurmountable - there are sixteen possible playing days, and a maximum games per team of 12 In terms of making a venue pay, there's a lot to be said for 13 extra games, yet needing 24 less bodies - Basketball ticket sales are usually strong. Of course, you could use the London 2012 Handball scenario an have two venues, with the larger taking half the 'league and all the knockout matches.
...Cont'd Open Water swimming No changes except tighten up the officiating Water Polo Reduce the men's field from 12 to 10, increase the women's field from 8 to 10 - total change in athletes, nil Synchro swimming Remove from the Games; already difficult both as a judged sport, and a single gender sport, it's also too heavily into the 'art' element rather than the 'sport' - judging is one thing, artistic impression is another *Addition* : High Dive - outdoor super high platform The diving equivalent of the open water swim, a relatively small field of 24 athletes, 12 men and 12 women, could provide an extraordinarily visual spectacle - no synchro, no team, just 12 divers per gender doing 5 dives. the 24 athletes could be found using only a fraction of the places previously used in synchro swimming, so aquatics would be introducing gender neutral, televisual event, and still 'saving' athlete numbers. Plus, inexpensive to stage. Basketball. This is tricky. Possibly the most predictable event in the Games, the sport is widely popular, yet at elite level completely concentrated in one country - see also Baseball, except worse. Unlike Football, however, the event is taken seriously. My suggestions : Reduce fields by two teams to ten, and have a single table format, leading to a 'league stage' of 9 matches, and a staggered 6 team playoff - 3 v 6, 4 v 5 - w1 v 2, w2 v 1 - w1 v w2(gold/silver), l1 v l2(bronze) - the 'athlete saving' (24 ballers per gender)to then be moved to the following: *Addition* - Basketball 3 x 3 I think this addition, along the same lines as Beach volleyball and rugby sevens, appealing to the Urban roots of the game - i..e played on a concrete half court, short sharp timeframe, possibly in a pretty open 'street' venue would do more for the sport than anything else. 12/16 teams of three per gender, soaking up the 24 athletes released by the team reduction in the full court version, and a relatively small number (24) of additional athletes. Badminton Replace group stages in the individual event with a repechage system. Slight reduction in numbers in the individual events from 41/40 as in Rio to a straight 32, 32 (saving 17 athletes) Boxing : Addition of two women's weights, reallocation of qualification places as follows Rio was : Men 22 26 28 28 28 28 28 26 18 18 Women 12 12 12 Total 286 Should become Men 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 16 16 Women 12 12 12 12 12 Total 284 Fairer, but no extra athletes needed - also 24 is just more sensible in straight knockout numbers than 28 Baseball/Softball No re-entry until MLB accepts and co-operates. Their refusal makes a mockery of the coming tournament tbc....
One has to remember that the Olympics cannot realistically be about only minority sports, because the huge casual fan-base that justifies the TV rights millions that fund said minority sports is hugely boosted by the 'popular' sports. an example is the golf, which was a shambles in terms of getting the best male players in....but had HUGE viewing figures, both in Golfing countries, but also in other places. Justin Rose, a previous major winner who won the men's event (and rightfully so, he and Steenson having backed the event to the hilt were worthy medalists) has stated that he did the Olympics knowing there was no money in it, for the glory and the atmosphere...but then said he was stunned when his agent told him he had more big international sponsor interest in 48 HOURS after the Olympic gold than in the TWO MONTHS after winning the major (the US Open). That's the Olympic global impact - even the refusniks like McIlroy have blatantly admitted they got it hopelessly wrong - just like Tennis, as I predicted, within 8-12 years (2-3 cycles) the Olympic Golf will be considered second only to the Majors, and up there with Ryder Cup. Football falls in the same issue, but I think Rugby has shown a way out. The Sevens was a HUGE success, and I suspect will be in the Games for decades to come - so concise, so exciting, so cheap to stage, small teams...perfect. Beach volleyball too. So yes, the football tourney is neither fish nor foul, on the mens' side - I'd leave the women's as it is, it's respected and loved, but I think there's a huge argument for the introduction of Futsal instead of the 11 a side game for men - it would be the elite of that form of the game, smaller teams so fewer athletes to house and feed, and much quicker to run As for the rest, well, my 2p/2c/ 2 drachma/2 rupees: Archery - reduce individual fields to 48 from 64 by removal of the third archer from the teams (12 per gender) and another 4. So instead of 12 x 3(36) + 28 x 1(=64, repping 40 countries), you have 12 x 2(24) + 24 x 1 (48 repping 36 countries). Introduce a sudden death repechage round after first round of individual events - so 48 becomes 24 - the 24 'losers' go into 8 3-archer sudden death matches, 8 winners join earlier 24 to make a 32 archer second round and then knockout - end up with exactly same number of matches per event as we currently have (32+16+8+4+2+2) becomes (24+8+16+8+4+2+2) Then convert the two team events, into a single, mixed gender event with 4 archers, 2 per gender, per team. once can either keep the four seed bye system or introduce another version of sudden death repechage - 6 first round matches, 2 three team sudden death repechages for the losers, followed by quarters, etc. The big advantage of repechages is every archer gets guaranteed two matches, while still maintaining a strong peril element. So we end up with 3 events instead of four, but every archer still with the chance to win 2 golds, and 96 archers instead of 128 (a saving of 32 athletes, which can then be redistributed to other sports, or even used up by Archery in another form of the sport, such as Field or 3D archery - personally, I'd redistribute) Athletics The big beast, with over 2000 athletes per Games. Hard to know where to slice and dice here, but here are a few suggestions. 1. Regularise the gendering in the walks, preferably with the removal of the 50k men's event. 2. A maximum of two per nation in the field events. 3. A significant reduction in Marathon and 100 metre fields. Aquatics Swimming - number 2 only to the Athletics, but again some pruning should be possible. The fields of the 50 m freestyle are far too big. The mixed gender medley relays work exceptionally well at World and continental level - may be worth adding if it can be done with no extra numbers of swimmers. Perhaps, dare I suggest, a super maxi event involving 8 legs - 4 men, 4 women, all 4 strokes - although the two backstroke legs may prove an issue here. Consideration to be given to making the 200 'stroke' events - back, breast and fly, into 400 metre, genuine endurance events...too many athletes find the 100, 200 double too easy, and it leads to swollen medal tally's as compared to other sports - make the distinction between speed and endurance within stroke bigger. Diving We could shave down the individual events by about 4 divers each, and perhaps consideration could be given, as in the synchro events, to a one diver per event maximum. One should probably be able to carry over your first round score into the semi - and totalise them rather than blanking slates - because the Tom Daley situation (aceing the first round with vast score, only to bomb out in semi) seemed a bit silly to be honest. The addition of a mixed gender team event might be fun, on the proviso it required no extra divers and used only already qualified ones - 2 dives per diver, 1 male and 1 female platform, 1 male and 1 female springboard. May require a certain jiggering around with qualification to ensure X teams can field, but again, no increase in overall numbers - and a team aggregate event of individual divers would be a completely different test than synchro. In short, I think it should be perfectly possible to have 9 events instead of 8, AND increase podium diversity while actually marginally reducing numbers. TBC....
I wouldn't really be for removing any events per se, although a few clever amendments could make some - 'painless' reductions. For example, instead of rotating the 6 team fencing events, make all team fencing mixed gender events (2 men, 2 women), so you only need 3 team events, and only 2 men, not three and 2 women, not three, for those teams...so every fencer still has the same number of golds to go for (1 indy, 1 team) but noone loses out because their team event is on an off year, and we have one less event. Do the same with Archery. Do the same with table tennis. Hey presto, you've saved three events and about 40 athletes I would actually be for adding events, so long as you don't have to add athletes - if you cut 20 from the road races, you could easily put that twenty into the velodrome and restart the blue riband events, Indy pursuit and Kilo, and even points race. Most of the world class guys will already be there, so you only need a tiny handful more to cover. The BMX races should be 6's not 8's for pure safety reasons 32 men, 16 women should become 24 men 24 women , and BMW time trial should be added as a stand alone event with the same athletes. Another basic rule is - if you're going to build a venue, get the use out of it. Including the Slalom course and the velodrome I cannot for the life of me understand the mentality that only cares about team sports - they use more athletes for less reward than the other sports, and yet exclude 200 countries from the outset. They are assuredly NOT the 'best sports', and I can't really take that idea seriously. If you want that kind of saturation, watch a world cup, not the olympics. I'm bemused by the addition of Karate, at least in the form included - Kata?? Seriously, phantom pretend fighting? As an olympic sport?? Even the Kumite event don't seem to actually involve striking the opponant, which seems to render it all fairly meaningless as far s martial arts and combat sports go.
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