Like European soccer competitions, track and field isn’t necessarily in bad shape, but it’s fun to talk about tinkering.
Daily Relay’s Jesse Squire is a big fan of team competitions, so he asks the logical question for the one year each quadrennium in which soccer has its world championship at stake while track and field has none: What if Track & Field Had a World Cup?.
The big stars may sit out. Their only competition, really, is the record book. Everyone else has trouble getting attention. If you know the 100 meters at a Diamond League meet has no Bolt, no Gatlin, no Powell and no Gay, you’re probably not interested. But suppose you have national teams represented?
Track and field needs context. You can get it from a record chase. Or Olympic or World Championship competition — which usually includes national team interest even without team scoring. You don’t get it when you tune into a Diamond League steeplechase and see 12 Kenyans at the starting line, and no one’s giving you many cues to differentiate them.
So is this worth exploring, particularly in the wake of the successful World Relays? Sure!
We’ll get back to tinkering with the Europa League. USA-Belgium is on.