Greene against start proposal

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The world 100 metres record holder, Maurice Greene, has criticised a new starting rule which the International Amateur Athletic Federation is hoping to introduce in 2003.

Less than an hour after arriving in Edmonton for his bid to win a third successive World Championship 100m crown, Greene challenged plans for a change in the false start system. "It ain't going to stop me in what I'm going to do here. Now's not the time to worry about it. But they should have left it alone."

At its Council meeting on Monday, the IAAF and its technical committee decided to recommend to yesterday's Con- gress meeting that in races up to 400 metres one false start will be allowed, but any athlete subsequently false starting will be disqualified immediately.

"At least that's an improvement on the earlier one," said Emmanuel Hudson, the manager of Greene and the star-studded HSI team of sprinters who have arrived in the Canadian town for the championships which begin on Friday.

Originally the IAAF Council intended asking Congress to approve a 'sudden death' disqualification for athletes making a false start in the sprint events.

Greene and fellow American Marion Jones, the Olympic 100m and 200m gold medallist, have headed protests from fellow athletes against that proposal.

Istvan Gyulai, the IAAF general secretary, said: "I must emphasise this is only a proposal we are making to Congress. In the Council meeting there were two proposals – no false starts or one false start, like in swimming.

"At the Council meeting in March, Council supported the first option. But in circumspect and after trials and evaluations it was decided this was not a good thing.

"We will recommend the second option to Congress – but I stress it is for them to decide."

Gyulai said there would be no change to the rules in the vertical jumps. But the possibility of reducing the number of attempts in the horizontal jumps and throws which apply in internationals will be supported.