Comments on World Rankings are not new. Two articles have been published in Dutch on UltraNED on this subject. For completeness we give an earlier press release (April 4th 2004) of ARRS, the Association of Road Running Statisticians (see also http://www.arrs.net )
IAAF DRASTICALLY SKEW THEIR ROAD RANKINGS
The IAAF have once again shown how little they understand road racing. Their road ranking system is based on times and they obviously have scoring tables that allow them to assign points to a runner based on their time.
However, unlike distance running on tracks, distance performances on road courses can be wind-aided, downhill, or just plain short.
When the IAAF chose to include times from a notably downhill and
notoriously fast course such as Lisbon without any considerations of the course or conditions, they drastically skew their rankings, as shown in their latest road rankings press release -
JAOUAD GHARIB SOARS TO TOP OF THE ROAD RUNNING EVENT RANKINGS
Monaco - The winner of the marathon at last summer's IAAF World
Championships in Paris, Jaouad Gharib of Morocco has taken over the top spot of the current Men's Road Running Event Rankings.
At 31 years of age Gharib went under an hour for the first time in his life to complete the half marathon in Lisbon, where he finished fourth with 59 minutes 56 seconds (1278 points in Performance Score).
With this new personal best the reigning world champion moved up 13 places to first in the Road Running Event Rankings, ahead a trio of Kenyans. Gharib also moved nearly 140 places to 57th in the Men's Overall Rankings."
Note that in last week's ARRS Newsletter, the 2004 Lisbon Half Marathon was deemed unacceptable for ARRS records/rankings lists, producing times that are roughly two minutes faster than a standard course.
With the IAAF willing to accept performances on DOWNHILL courses as valid, other runners who have run slower, non-aided times will be seriously disadvantaged.
The IAAF's credibility in both road record keeping and now road rankings is in serious jeopardy. Perhaps they should try consulting with someone who knows something about road racing. There are people working within the IAAF who could have helped the IAAF avoid this and other problems, had they been consulted.