13:46 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Patience Okon George, of Nigeria adjusts her starting blocks before a women's 400 meter heat at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019.

    Female Runners Demand Cameras Stop Filming Them From Below as They Climb Over Starting Blocks

    Petr David Josek
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    The cameras, embedded into the starting blocks, were meant to bring athletics fans closer to the action, but at least two German athletes believe it got too close.

    German runners have complained about close-up cameras at the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championships in Qatar, saying the newly-introduced technology makes them feel uncomfortable.

    Sprinter Gina Lückenkemper, 22, told Bild that she didn’t like being filmed from below as she had to get in the into the set position on the starting blocks in skimpy and tight outfit.

    “Was a woman involved in developing this camera? I don't think so,” she was quoted as saying. Another German sprinter, Tatjana Pinto, made a similar complaint.

    Prior to the tournament, the IAAF announced that each starting blocks in the 100m and sprint hurdles will be equipped with two miniature cameras to make TV coverage a more intense experience.

    “Traditional camera positions only showed the top or side of their heads as they took their marks,’’ explained IAAF Director of Broadcast James Lord. “The new cameras within the blocks will capture that intense moment just before a race.”

    However, Gina said that the German Athletics Federation had lodged an official complaint with the International Association of Athletics Federations – the international governing body for track and field running the championships. “We were probably not the only ones to lodge a protest,” she added.

    The IAAF reportedly told the athletes that the cameras will keep filming them but now the camera footage will only be displayed on TV once they are already on the blocks. 

    In addition, the footage will not be saved and will be deleted every 24 hours, they promised.


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