Australia demands probe of triple jump final at 1980 Games
MELBOURNE – Australia has demanded an investigation into the triple jump final at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, claiming scientific evidence that local athlete Ian Campbell was wrongly denied a gold-medal winning jump.
Athletics Australia said on Saturday they had also called on the IAAF to probe the women’s 200 metres final at the 1948 Games in London, saying Shirley Strickland de la Hunty had missed out on a bronze due to an incorrect call by an official.
Campbell’s third attempt at Moscow landed between the Olympic record marker of 17.39m and the then-world record of 17.89m but he was fouled for scraping his foot along the ground when entering the jump phase.
Campbell and the Australian athletics section manager’s protests were dismissed and Russian Jaak Uudmae was awarded the gold for a jump of 17.35m.
On the 35th anniversary of the final, AA said it would submit a report to the IAAF which showed Campbell had not scraped his foot and his third jump was 17.51m — within “an uncertainty of no more than four centimetres.”
The report, which had been verified by “international expert reviewers”, was based on a study conducted by a local university in Melbourne which had used video footage from the original broadcast to estimate Campbell’s jump, AA President David Grace said in a statement.
“If confirmed, (AA will) request the IAAF to call upon the IOC to recognise Campbell’s third round attempt as a legitimate jump and to reverse the foul call.
“It is hoped that this will produce a re-adjustment of the event results and result in a gold medal being awarded by the IOC to Campbell.”
Strickland de la Hunty placed fourth in the 200m final at London but was not given the benefit of a photo review of the finish.
“Later examination of the photo finish film has revealed that she clearly finished in third place albeit by a slim margin,” Grace said.
AA cited the precedent of the IAAF’s decision to award a second bronze to Frenchwoman Michele Chardonnet some four months after she was placed fourth in the 100m hurdles final at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
The IAAF ruled that Chardonnet and American Kim Turner had finished in a dead heat.
“Advances in science over time have allowed sporting organisations to discover and detect errors in results that have occurred many years in the past,” Grace said.
“To correct these errors, even after so many years, is the just and right thing to do.” -Reuters