Measuring for the gold

Chapter 1: A global competition

Measuring for the gold

Author: Monica Miller Rodgers, October 2016

The athlete paces, eyeing the track before him. He sees each step he’ll take in his mind. He imagines reaching the white line and leaping, stretching his long legs out in front of him as far as possible. He can already feel the grainy sand spraying up around him as he lands. He takes the starting position and waits for the sound of the gun.

At the other end of the 400-metre track, a technician prepares to capture the results that will determine the placement of the athlete. Will he have jumped a far enough distance to be victorious? Or, will he have just missed the mark by mere millimetres? This winning or losing in track and field is determined using Leica Geosystems measurement technology.

A global competition

For the past 42 years, world-class athletes from around the globe have gathered at the premiere European track and field event in the Voralberg region of Austria at Götzis to compete in more than 40 events. Athletes compete in the decathlon or heptathlon and collect points here to go toward their yearly total for the parent competition.

“Götzis is the best individual and most traditional meeting in the Combined Events Challenge of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation). In the ranking of all Challenge Meetings, it can compare with the Olympic Games and world championships,” said Walter Weber, Hypomeeting athletes manager. “Three world records and a uncountable number of national records were set in the last 42 years of this meeting.”

Leica Geosystems total stations have historically been used at the meet to measure the distance in the long jump and the throwing events of the shot put, javelin and discus. Critical to the competition, the high accuracy of these total stations is depended upon to provide the results correctly and quickly.

“Before we started using the total stations, we had to hand measure each event with tape. This slowed down the events and always left too much room for error,” said Hans Aberer, Hypomeeting technical director. “With Leica Geosystems total stations, we have been able to speed up results reporting to mere minutes, and we trust the good quality we are able to provide in those results.”

Explore next chapter: Judging sports events worldwide

Story: Measuring for the gold
Chapter 1: A global competition
Chapter 2: Judging sports events worldwide

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