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Re: David Powell demeans Robert Korzeniowski and Poland in the Times

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  • Ian RICHARDS
    David Powell (so called athletics correspondent of the Times) wrote yesterday in his article Holmes double glosses over Britain s lack of progress (31/08/04,
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 1, 2004
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      David Powell (so called athletics correspondent of the Times) wrote
      yesterday in his article Holmes double glosses over Britain's lack of
      progress (31/08/04, page 29)

      "From an international perspective, there should be concern that only two of
      the 42 champions from the 2000 Sydney Olympics won a second successive gold
      medal. Worse, they were in disciplines that count for little in the public
      eye and from countries of little significance on the athletics map; Alenka
      of Lithuania in the discus and Robert Korzeniowski of Poland in the 50
      kilometres walk"

      If you feel as outraged by this as me (see my reply below) please e-mail him
      at POWELLSPORT@...



      Dear David,

      I must take issue with several points that you raised in your article
      'Holmes double glosses over Britain's lack of progress' (31/08/04, page 29).

      In particular with regards to your paragraph of what you claim is an
      'international perspective' and with your references to Robert Korzeniowski.

      Your main point with regard to the international perspective is that only 2
      of the 42 gold medallists fron Sydney retained their titles. Firstly should
      you not be celebrating the fact that they were the only 2 able to do this
      and does this not prove how difficult this is and what a great achievement
      this was for Korzeniowski and Alenka.

      Perhaps before you make such sweeping generalisations you should check out
      your facts and figures! For example you claim to be an athletics
      correspondent but you fail to mention that Robert Korzeniowski won his third
      title in a row at 50km and his fourth in the last 3 games, surely an even
      more worthy achievement given the evidence you presented in your previous
      statement! No other male or female athlete has ever won 3 successive titles
      in a road or track event and this has only been surpassed by Carl Lewis
      (Long Jump) and Al Orter (Discus).

      Korzeniowski also arguably produced the outstanding endurance performance of
      the Games as he was only 2 minutes outside the World Record despite the heat
      and humidity. Compare this with the Men's Marathon (6 minutes) and Women's
      Marathon (11 minutes) despite these events being much shorter in terms of
      distance and time!

      Korzeniowski is arguably the greatest endurance athlete of the last decade
      as he has claimed 4 Olympic titles, 3 World titles, 2 European titles and 3
      world records. His achievement in winning the 20km and 50km double in Sydney
      in 6 days has only been surpassed by Emile Zatopek in endurance events.
      Paula Radcliffe demonstrated just how hard a marathon and 10,000 metres
      double is and this requires only 52.2 km of racing compared to 70km. This
      makes him superior to Bekele, Gebrselassie and Radcliffe in terms of
      achievements.

      You also claim that race walking is a 'discipline that counts little in the
      public eye'. I surmise from this that you were not in the stadium last
      Monday morning when 50,000 Greeks went wild when welcoming Athanasia
      Tsoumeleka as Olympic Champion. Neither can you have been in it later that
      evening when 60,000 Greeks celebrated at the medal ceremony. I also suspect
      you were not in the Pananthinaiko Stadium for the men's marathon finish when
      she received a standing ovation from 75,000 spectators as she walked around
      the stadium. She was seen as so insignificant as a race walker that she only
      got to sit between such minor dignitaries as Lamine Diack and Prince Albert
      of Monaco!

      Neither can you have listened to Dr Jaques Rogue's comments who claimed that
      Robert Korzeniowski achievement was his personal greatest performance of the
      Games.

      Try telling the 10,000 Poles that were on the course last Friday that race
      walking is insignificant. Why if it is so insignificant has Korzeniowski had
      to live in Northern France to avoid the distractions of his fame to enable
      him to train in peace? If he is such a minor celebrity why is he sponsored
      by McDonalds?

      Using your arguments do you think that many African countries care about the
      Triple Jump, yet I am sure you have lauded Jonathon Edwards achievements
      over the last few years.

      I also find your comments about Poland and Lithuania being 'countries of
      little significance on the athletics map' as extremely derogatory and
      racist, as I am sure the residents of these countries would do. Your claim
      that Poland are not a major athletics power is unfounded and if you apply
      your criterion do you also think that Great Britain are equally
      insignificant?

      For example Poland won 3 golds in Sydney compared to 2 by GB, at the 2001
      World Champs they were 9th in the medal table compared to GB's 18th, 2003
      World Champs 9th compared to GB's 18th. They have also recently won the
      Men's European Cup. Did you not attend this years European Cup in Poland?

      Your article is indicative of lazy and unfounded journalism, that takes
      cheap shots, based on factually incorrect and substantiated information. It
      is more akin to tabloid journalism than what one would expect from a high
      quality broadsheet publication.

      Your claim to write from an international perspective is laughable and is
      racist and demonstrates your insularity and ignorance as well as demeaning
      the athletes and countries you mention.

      Perhaps you would like to rectify your mistakes by attending UK Athletics'
      and Warwick District Councils launch of their bid for the staging of the
      2007 European Cup of Race Walking in Royal Leamington Spa, which will take
      place on Saturday 6th November 2004. The guest of honour will be Robert
      Korzeniowski and I am sure he will be only to pleased to tell you how
      insignificant his achievements and his country are! Surely you should be
      celebrating the achievements of one of the greatest Olympians and I am sure
      he will be only to willing to tell you how he is promoting this
      insignificant event in his retirement.


      Yours in Sport

      Ian Richards

      UK Athletics Race Walking Promoter
      Director Leamington 2007 European Cup of Race Walking Bid
      Lecturer in Sport and Leisure Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University
    • timwatt2001
      Jees, that s poor.... So, the discus isn t of much significance either... tell that to Myron, and the Greeks...
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 1, 2004
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        Jees, that's poor....

        So, the discus isn't of much significance either... tell that to Myron, and the Greeks...

        http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Arts/Misc/Discobolos2.jpg

        Also, what concern is it that there were only two repeat winners anyway, a changing of the
        guard, different testing regimes, a fine line between success and failure - either way it's
        little relevance to the point.

        It just shows these reporters don't have enough time to cover acres of paper. Sure you can
        say they're lazy, and their points are often vacuous - but often they don't have enough
        time or support and work under a lot of pressure....


        ....which is an opportunity.. help fill the vacuum (even if it's between their ears) with what
        you want them to write...

        Well said Ian....though woah boy, with the exclamations.

        Tim

        --- In racewalk@yahoogroups.com, "Ian RICHARDS" <ian@r...> wrote:
        > David Powell (so called athletics correspondent of the Times) wrote
        > yesterday in his article Holmes double glosses over Britain's lack of
        > progress (31/08/04, page 29)
        >
        > "From an international perspective, there should be concern that only two of
        > the 42 champions from the 2000 Sydney Olympics won a second successive gold
        > medal. Worse, they were in disciplines that count for little in the public
        > eye and from countries of little significance on the athletics map; Alenka
        > of Lithuania in the discus and Robert Korzeniowski of Poland in the 50
        > kilometres walk"
        >
        > If you feel as outraged by this as me (see my reply below) please e-mail him
        > at POWELLSPORT@c...
        >
        >
        >
        > Dear David,
        >
        > I must take issue with several points that you raised in your article
        > 'Holmes double glosses over Britain's lack of progress' (31/08/04, page 29).
        >
        > In particular with regards to your paragraph of what you claim is an
        > 'international perspective' and with your references to Robert Korzeniowski.
        >
        > Your main point with regard to the international perspective is that only 2
        > of the 42 gold medallists fron Sydney retained their titles. Firstly should
        > you not be celebrating the fact that they were the only 2 able to do this
        > and does this not prove how difficult this is and what a great achievement
        > this was for Korzeniowski and Alenka.
        >
        > Perhaps before you make such sweeping generalisations you should check out
        > your facts and figures! For example you claim to be an athletics
        > correspondent but you fail to mention that Robert Korzeniowski won his third
        > title in a row at 50km and his fourth in the last 3 games, surely an even
        > more worthy achievement given the evidence you presented in your previous
        > statement! No other male or female athlete has ever won 3 successive titles
        > in a road or track event and this has only been surpassed by Carl Lewis
        > (Long Jump) and Al Orter (Discus).
        >
        > Korzeniowski also arguably produced the outstanding endurance performance of
        > the Games as he was only 2 minutes outside the World Record despite the heat
        > and humidity. Compare this with the Men's Marathon (6 minutes) and Women's
        > Marathon (11 minutes) despite these events being much shorter in terms of
        > distance and time!
        >
        > Korzeniowski is arguably the greatest endurance athlete of the last decade
        > as he has claimed 4 Olympic titles, 3 World titles, 2 European titles and 3
        > world records. His achievement in winning the 20km and 50km double in Sydney
        > in 6 days has only been surpassed by Emile Zatopek in endurance events.
        > Paula Radcliffe demonstrated just how hard a marathon and 10,000 metres
        > double is and this requires only 52.2 km of racing compared to 70km. This
        > makes him superior to Bekele, Gebrselassie and Radcliffe in terms of
        > achievements.
        >
        > You also claim that race walking is a 'discipline that counts little in the
        > public eye'. I surmise from this that you were not in the stadium last
        > Monday morning when 50,000 Greeks went wild when welcoming Athanasia
        > Tsoumeleka as Olympic Champion. Neither can you have been in it later that
        > evening when 60,000 Greeks celebrated at the medal ceremony. I also suspect
        > you were not in the Pananthinaiko Stadium for the men's marathon finish when
        > she received a standing ovation from 75,000 spectators as she walked around
        > the stadium. She was seen as so insignificant as a race walker that she only
        > got to sit between such minor dignitaries as Lamine Diack and Prince Albert
        > of Monaco!
        >
        > Neither can you have listened to Dr Jaques Rogue's comments who claimed that
        > Robert Korzeniowski achievement was his personal greatest performance of the
        > Games.
        >
        > Try telling the 10,000 Poles that were on the course last Friday that race
        > walking is insignificant. Why if it is so insignificant has Korzeniowski had
        > to live in Northern France to avoid the distractions of his fame to enable
        > him to train in peace? If he is such a minor celebrity why is he sponsored
        > by McDonalds?
        >
        > Using your arguments do you think that many African countries care about the
        > Triple Jump, yet I am sure you have lauded Jonathon Edwards achievements
        > over the last few years.
        >
        > I also find your comments about Poland and Lithuania being 'countries of
        > little significance on the athletics map' as extremely derogatory and
        > racist, as I am sure the residents of these countries would do. Your claim
        > that Poland are not a major athletics power is unfounded and if you apply
        > your criterion do you also think that Great Britain are equally
        > insignificant?
        >
        > For example Poland won 3 golds in Sydney compared to 2 by GB, at the 2001
        > World Champs they were 9th in the medal table compared to GB's 18th, 2003
        > World Champs 9th compared to GB's 18th. They have also recently won the
        > Men's European Cup. Did you not attend this years European Cup in Poland?
        >
        > Your article is indicative of lazy and unfounded journalism, that takes
        > cheap shots, based on factually incorrect and substantiated information. It
        > is more akin to tabloid journalism than what one would expect from a high
        > quality broadsheet publication.
        >
        > Your claim to write from an international perspective is laughable and is
        > racist and demonstrates your insularity and ignorance as well as demeaning
        > the athletes and countries you mention.
        >
        > Perhaps you would like to rectify your mistakes by attending UK Athletics'
        > and Warwick District Councils launch of their bid for the staging of the
        > 2007 European Cup of Race Walking in Royal Leamington Spa, which will take
        > place on Saturday 6th November 2004. The guest of honour will be Robert
        > Korzeniowski and I am sure he will be only to pleased to tell you how
        > insignificant his achievements and his country are! Surely you should be
        > celebrating the achievements of one of the greatest Olympians and I am sure
        > he will be only to willing to tell you how he is promoting this
        > insignificant event in his retirement.
        >
        >
        > Yours in Sport
        >
        > Ian Richards
        >
        > UK Athletics Race Walking Promoter
        > Director Leamington 2007 European Cup of Race Walking Bid
        > Lecturer in Sport and Leisure Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University
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