Back on track: PH athletics to return under new rules
MANILA, Philippines – There will be new rules in place once the country welcomes athletics back.
With the safety of its athletes and coaches its utmost priority, the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA) created guidelines it will implement for the potential return of the sport.
Like other sports, track and field athletes must maintain a safe distance when training.
That means meetings and huddles between coaches and athletes are strongly discouraged for the meantime, with the PATAFA advising teams to avoid a weekly assembly of team members.
While having a mentor or a partner on their side makes training less grueling, athletes are now asked to warm up and stretch on their own.
Coaches, meanwhile, need to observe a distance of at least 2 to 3 meters from athletes and to provide instructions to their wards individually.
Stay in your lane
It is not only belongings that athletes must avoid sharing but also track lanes.
The PATAFA advised against having two or more athletes running on the same lane to prevent slipstream.
In the gym, equipment need to be placed at least two meters apart and they should be disinfected before and after use by an athlete.
The same goes with throwing equipment (for example, javelin, discus, shot, and hammer) as coaches are asked to disinfect them after each attempt if they will be shared between two or more athletes.
Back in action
When athletic events finally take place, wearing protective gear will be common.
Athletes are barred from shaking hands, high-fiving, and taking photos with other people during warm-ups and they are asked to wear face shields up until before their competitions start.
Participants in throwing and jumping events, for example, need to wear face shields while waiting for their turn and remain on the waiting area where a physical distance of two meters will be observed.
In events where equipment will be used, particularly relays, athletes will be provided a sanitizing solution by marshals to disinfect their hands after their run.
At the podium
Even the medal ceremony will see a change under the new athletics guidelines.
Unlike before when presenters award the medals to the winners, the victors will now retrieve the medals on their own at the awards area.
Already wearing their medals, winners will then go up at the podium and will be recognized by the announcer.
Physical distancing will still be observed at the podium as winners are prohibited from holding their hands up as a form of celebration. – Rappler.com