September 17, 2021

Female sprinters complain that new running block cameras show them from intimate angles


Female sprinters complain that new starting block cameras show them from intimate angles

  • Starting block cameras are meant to ‘capture the intense moment’ before a race
  • But female athletes say they feel uncomfortable climbing over the cameras 
  • German athletics bosses have been told the footage is deleted every day

By Tim Stickings For Mailonline

Published: 10:07 EDT, 30 September 2019 | Updated: 21:57 EDT, 30 September 2019

Female athletes have reacted angrily to new close-up cameras at the World Athletics Championships which they say show their bodies from intimate angles. 

The miniature cameras within the athletes’ starting blocks are meant to ‘capture the intense moment just before a race’. 

But women say the camera makes them uncomfortable as they have to climb over it in the moments before a race.  

One German athlete, sprinter Gina Lückenkemper, told Bild: ‘Was a woman involved in developing this camera? I don’t think so.’  

Some of the pictures from the newly-introduced starting block cameras in a women’s 100m heat at the World Athletics Championships

German sprinter Gina Lückenkemper (left at the starting block) said the cameras make her uncomfortable as she has to climb over the intrusive camera in the moments before a race. On the right is Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who eventually won the 100m competition 

She went on: ‘I find it very uncomfortable climbing over this camera in skimpy running clothes to go to the starting block.’ 

Tatjana Pinto, another German competitor at the championships in Doha this week, has also complained about the new cameras. 

As a result, German athletics bosses have demanded that the footage only be displayed once the runners are already on the starting blocks. 

In addition, the camera footage will be deleted every day, the German authorities have been reassured. 

Governing body IAAF heralded the ‘innovative’ new camera angle when they announced its introduction earlier this month. 

‘Athletics fans around the globe will be closer to the action than ever before,’ they promised.  

One IAAF official apparently felt that felt ‘audience was missing a crucial moment of the drama by not being able to see the athletes’ faces at the start of sprint race’.

‘The new cameras within the blocks will capture that intense moment just before a race,’ IAAF broadcast director James Lord explained. 

Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who won silver in the 100m final last night, is seen close-up from one of the ‘innovative’ new cameras 

The women’s 100m final is seen from above, with the athletes setting off on the right and the starting blocks with their new cameras on the left 

The IAAF has already been beset by controversy over Qatar’s hosting of the athletics championships. 

Former long-distance champion Haile Gebrselassie said ‘it was a mistake to conduct the championship in such hot weather in Doha, especially the marathon race’. 

‘God forbid, but people could have died running in such weather conditions’, Gebrselassie said. 

The women’s marathon Friday started at midnight to dodge the worst of the heat but was still held in humidity that made it feel like 105F. 

Twenty-eight of the 68 women dropped out of the race and one was briefly taken to hospital.  

There has also been criticism of the empty seats at the stadium, with seemingly as few as 1,000 people in the ground for the women’s 100m final last night. 


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