El Paso, TX, July 22, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Joao N’Tyamba of Angola, who next month will be competing in the track competition in a remarkable sixth Olympic Games, announced today that he will run in 2008 Olympic marathon in Beijing in the controversial Spira Footwear running shoes. Spira Footwear (www.spirafootwear.com
) – the running shoe with “springs” – features patented WaveSpring technology that reduces impact force on a runner’s body, which leads to an efficient recovery and less overall stress. The shoes have not been officially designated as legal for international competition, despite numerous runners winning sanctioned races in the shoes, including the Boston Marathon’s masters division, the Houston Marathon, the Detroit Marathon, the Ottawa Marathon among others.
“I am not worried,” said N’Tyamba of repercussions of wearing a shoe not cleared by the IAAF. “This issue seems to be mostly confusion. If the shoe is banned, why do so many athletes win big marathons wearing them? I hope to do the same in Beijing. I am very excited to be the first marathoner in the Olympics to wear the Spira shoes. To me, it is an honor. For me racing is about winning, not just being in the race."
International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) Rule No. 143 states that shoes “must not be constructed so as to give an athlete an unfair additional assistance, including by the incorporation of any technology which will give the wearer any unfair advantage.” Spira Footwear CEO Andy Krafsur has pushed for his shoes to be officially cleared for use in competition and have the word “technology” further defined in the IAAF rules. He said he has waited for over two years to gain clearance from the IAAF and has submitted multiple shoes to the IAAF for approval. Earlier this year, the IAAF ruled that double amputee Oscar Pistorius and his Cheetah Flex-Foot carbon fibre transtibial artifical limbs were illegal, only to have the decision reversed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in May - the Court ruling that the IAAF had not provided sufficient evidence to prove that Pistorius's prostheses give him an advantage over able-bodied athletes.
“We are hopeful that the IAAF will clear the shoes once and for all so runners can use our product and technology without fear of repercussions and disqualification,” said Krafsur. “We applaud Joao for not only qualifying for a sixth Olympic team but for believing in our product and having faith in our shoes to take a risk, based on the lack of a ruling, and run in Spira shoes at the Olympics.”
Joao N’Tyamba (pronounced JOW Na-TEE-em-BA), 40, will compete in the Beijing Games in the marathon competition for a third straight Olympiad. He will carry the Angolan flag in the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing and was a member of the Angolan Olympic Team previously in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. He competed in the 1500 meters in the 1996 and 1992 Olympic Games and in the 800 meters in the 1988 Seoul Games. He was an Olympic marathoner previously in 2000 and 2004. N’Tyamba trains in Albuquerque, New Mexico and at his residence, at over 8,600-feet of altitude, in Bogota, Colombia. He won the Gum Tree 10K in Tupelo, Miss, in May in the world’s fastest masters’ 10K time for 2008 in 29:16. Last weekend, he won the 10K race in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
For More Information:
John O’Keefe, Leverage Agency for Spira Footwear