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IAAF Agrees To Censor Controversial Block Cams After Athletes Protest At World Championships

IAAF Agrees To Censor Controversial Block Cams After Athletes Protest At World Championships

Controversial technology that was supposed to bring fans closer to the action has been censored after two athletes protested against its use at the World Championships.

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The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was forced to back down over the use of its block cams, which showed images of sprinters just moments before setting off in Doha.

It comes after the body received complaints from two German sprinters, Tatjana Pinto and Gina Luckenkemper, over the use of their images.

The compatriots, who were both knocked out in the semi-finals of the 100-metres, said they found the technology to be 'very questionable'.

Speaking about the incident, Luckenkemper said she felt 'really not comfortable' standing over the cameras while only wearing a pair of running shorts.

The IAAF has backed down after athletes protested over the new block cams. Credit: ARD
The IAAF has backed down after athletes protested over the new block cams. Credit: ARD
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In a statement released by a spokesperson, the runner said: "I, as a woman, find that quite stupid. I would doubt that a woman was part of the development of [the cameras]."

Luckenkemper and Pinto's complaints were taken to the IAAF by the German Athletics Association.

When the block cams were announced last month, it was claimed they would bring fans 'closer to the action than ever before'.

The sport's body installed two miniature cameras into each starting block for the 100-metre flat and hurdles races.

Speaking at the time, IAAF Director of Broadcast James Lord said he and his team wanted to bring a 'fresh' and 'dynamic' approach to the Doha games.

The stadium's screens will now only show images of the athletes as they are crouched over their blocks. Credit: ARD
The stadium's screens will now only show images of the athletes as they are crouched over their blocks. Credit: ARD

He said: "Athletics is an extraordinary sport where our athletes do amazing things. There is exceptional life, colour and movement not only in but around the competition and we wanted to showcase all of this to the world in new and exciting ways."

Mr Lord added: "Traditional camera positions only showed the top or side of their heads as they took their marks.

"The new cameras within the blocks will capture that intense moment just before a race. Seiko has done a brilliant job of bringing this to life."

But now, under the compromise reached on Sunday night, the big screens at the stadium will only show the athletes crouching in their blocks, moments before they start.

The footage captured by the cameras will then be erased every 24 hours.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Interesting, Technology

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]

 

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