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'They were weak. It makes me sad' - Fionnuala McCormack blasts World Athletics after legalising Vaporfly shoe

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Olympian Fionnuala McCormack has been announced as ambassador for the 2020 KIA Race Series. Now in it's third year, the series is organised by Pop Up Races and includes seven races nationwide. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Olympian Fionnuala McCormack has been announced as ambassador for the 2020 KIA Race Series. Now in it's third year, the series is organised by Pop Up Races and includes seven races nationwide. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Olympian Fionnuala McCormack has been announced as ambassador for the 2020 KIA Race Series. Now in it's third year, the series is organised by Pop Up Races and includes seven races nationwide. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Ireland's top female marathoner Fionnuala McCormack has accused World Athletics of being 'weak' in the wake of their decision to legalise the controversial Nike-manufactured Vaporfly racing shoe.

"The whole thing disappoints me. I'm not a fan of the shoes. I feel like World Athletics have let us down in the last week. I think they were weak. It makes me sad. To me that's not what the sport is about," she said.

"But I feel like only one (athlete) who feels like that apart from people who ran 20 years ago," said McCormack who has been named as an ambassador for the 2020 Kia Race Series in Ireland.

The three-time Olympian is sponsored by New Balance so she won't be wearing the controversial Nike footwear.

However, even though New Balance has developed a new shoe incorporating some of the elements of the Vaporfly, McCormack is unsure of whether she will wear them.

"I have always been a minimalist when it comes to shoes. It's what I've always been comfortable in and what I am used to. Now that they (World Athletics) have made a rule I'll probably have to think about it differently," she said.

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Nike's Vaporfly running shoe

Nike's Vaporfly running shoe

Nike's Vaporfly running shoe

"But I don't want to think about it differently. I suppose when I came back running last year (after the birth of her daughter Isla) I didn't have a decision to make a decision about shoes," said McCormack who finished fifth in the Chicago marathon in a personal best of time of 2:26.47 last autumn.

In the same race the winner, Kenya's Brigid Kosgei – who was wearing the new Nike shoe – set a new world record of 2:14.09 for the women's marathon.

"I'd prefer not to wear the new shoe. I have thought a lot about it over the last few days. I don't know if I am putting myself at too much of a disadvantage by not wearing the new shoe.

"I don't really feel that your shoe should be giving you an advantage. The rule refers to 'unfair advantage or assistance'. But it has been pretty much proven that it is giving assistance.

"I think they (World Athletics also known as the IAAF) have been a bit soft on the rule. It's definitely seems to be playing up to the one brand and it’s everybody else is playing catch-up. It is just doesn't look fair.

"Maybe it is technological advancement but even for me, how do I compare myself with myself after this? If I wore the shoe, would I have a PB before and after?

"It would have been so much easier for me if they'd banned the whole lot. I wouldn't be in a position where I'd ever have to make a choice," said McCormack who is the only Irish female runner to have qualified to run in the Olympic marathon in Tokyo.

Online Editors