Here's an article someone sent me (not sure what paper) on the Seiko Timing for the World Swimming champs - they provide timing for a myriad of other things, including the World Champs for T&F. I've heard a couple rumors about problems with the timinng - anyone know any more?
- Ed Parrot July 28, 2001 Time runs out for Seiko >From Craig Lord in Fukuoka Fina, the international governing body, has washed its hands of the controversial Seiko timing system that was used for the world championships in Fukuoka by announcing a three-event deal with Swiss Timing. The deal will cover the world short-course championships in Moscow next year and the world championships (long-course) in Barcelona in 2003 and Montreal in 2005. Sam Ramsamy, spokesperson for Fina and a member of the International OLympic Committee, said: "We've no qualms about the system as such - it has a fine reputation in international events." Perhaps no longer, after a spate of incorrect times at the Marine Messe pool that had to be adjusted by either the back-up timing or by using video evidence. The issue has never been as controversial, unprecedented as it is to have the main timing system fail as frequently as it has done in Fukuoka. If any explanation was forthcoming from Fina, which made its answers on the issue as evasive as possible yesterday, then it was that swimmers were to blame. Cornel Marculescu, Director of Fina, said that swimmers "had to hit it (electronic timing pad) in the right way" because the system was not geared to register a "soft" touch. It required a pressure of at least 1.5kg to recognise a swimmer's touch. That the swimmer must adjust to the electronic timing equipment and not the equipment to the swimmer is a bizarre situation that no-one can remember ever happening before, not even in the world of Masters swimming, where octogenarians compete and are likely to have a very soft touch indeed by the end of races. "I can't remember it ever having been a problem at that level," said Derek Parr, a journalist at the championships in Fukuoka who is also a world masters butterfly champion in his age group. Ramsamy said that Fina "genuinely and honestly believe that no swimmer and no team has been prejudiced by what has happened. In sports, losers do complain." It was a bizarre answer to a question that simply will not go away. One news agency was today displaying pictures that clearly show the video finish of a race telling one result and the subsequent result showing something quite different. In one case the timing system had recorded a time 1.1 seconds adrift the time that eventually appeared on the result sheet. Fina said that the timing back-up system employed when the pads at the end of lanes failed to register a result on the scoreboard, or registered an incorrect result, had worked "in all cases" in Fukuoka. Again, it blamed sore losers, saying: "In all sports, there are individuals and teams who do not necessarily agree with the results. Swimming is no exception.