Quest for Gold (Ontario Athlete Carding) Gap Analysis

In 2017, Athletics Ontario released provincial carding (Quest for Gold, Q4G) criteria based on the then current Athletics Canada NextGen standards, a talent ID and development program. Some of the standards appeared to be such egregious outliers that, upon posting on this topic at the time, some experienced distance runners suggested the times may have been errors/typos (they were not). Despite an outcry from AO members, our provincial body continues to use these standards in the recently released 2019-2020 Q4G criteria. Included below is an update of a prior post on this topic that, unfortunately, is still relevant to Ontario distance runners.

As some readers may know, Athletics Canada uses a 'bridging the gap' analysis as part of their national carding system. I put together an analysis that measures the gap between the 2017-2018 Athletics Ontario Quest for Gold standards (based exclusively on 2017 AC NextGen standards, which were current at the time) and the coinciding AC Carding standards. This gap analysis illustrates the progression an Ontario athlete would have to make to improve from a provincial carding level to a national carding level, based on the minimum standards necessary to be able to apply for each.

The performance gap is measured by IAAF Points. For womens' events, the average performance gap between AC to Q4G Full Card is 85 points; from AC to Q4G Half Card is 129 points. You may notice the 5000m event has a gap of only 4 points. That is because the 2017 AC NextGen 5000m standard (talent identification system) is only 2 seconds slower than the minimum standard needed to apply for National Carding.

Women                
*If multiple points options or mid-way between point values, went with higher number    
              Gap Analysis
Event AC Card IAAF Points Q4G Full Card IAAF Points Q4G Half Card IAAF Points AC to Q4G Full AC to Q4G Half
100m 11.35 1125 11.74 1044 11.91 1009 81 116
200m 23.28 1106 24.04 1032 24.71 969 74 137
400m 52.75 1098 54.85 1019 56.31 966 79 132
800m 2:02.64 1116 2:06.64 1047 2:07.63 1030 69 86
1500m 4:12.60 1107 4:21.36 1040 4:32.14 961 67 146
5000m 15:37.60 1092 15:39.77 1088 15:39.77 1088 4 4
10000m 33:10.20 1078 33:35.31 1057 33:35.31 1057 21 21
100mH 13.32 1107 14.01 1017 14.23 989 90 118
400mH 56.65 1122 58.9 1054 60.87 997 68 125
3000mSC 9:52.50 1114 10:20.31 1047 10:38.81 1004 67 110
20kmRW 1:34:50 1055 1:38:21 996 1:39:10 983 59 72
Marathon 2:34:10 1092 2:51:08 934 n/a   158  
LJ 6.50 1108 6.05 1010 5.79 953 98 155
TJ 13.72 1089 12.72 987 12.72 987 102 102
HJ 1.90 1121 1.78 1004 1.76 984 117 137
PV 4.35 1068 4.00 960 3.80 898 108 170
Discus 57.98 1035 51.26 911 46.85 830 124 205
Javelin 55.55 996 51.73 925 46.84 835 71 161
Shot Put 16.86 1012 15.32 916 14.10 840 96 172
Hammer 65.97 1029 57.32 889 53.74 832 140 197
Heptathlon 5738 1024 5273 934 4666 817 90 207
Average   1081   996   951 85 129
Range   996-1125   889-1088   817-1088    

 

It appears that, in order to be eligible to apply for Ontario carding - or to be noticed by the National Talent ID program - women needed to already be near the performance level that would allow them to apply for national carding in the 5,000m; this contrasted dramatically with non-long distance running events.

When approached with concerns, staff at both Athletics Ontario and Athletics Canada defended the standards and/or methodology being used. Coupled with other women's sport issues, including but not limited to comparatively shorter cross country distances, these standards help create a bottleneck at the 1,500m distance with considerably fewer women progressing into the 5,000m (and 10,000m) relative to their male peers.

Here is an overview of how these W1500m and W5000m standards line up with various National Team standards from 2016-2017. The W1500m standards are harder than the W5000m for all event qualifications, but for some reason the W1500m standards were dramatically easier for Q4G carding (and NextGen standards, at the time).

And finally, a 2017 comparison between BC Athletics and AO carding: BC standards gradually progress as the athlete gets older. Note that the difference between the AO W1500m and W5000m standards is a performance gap that BC athletes have over a decade to close.

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