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Chris Haxell appointed International Photo Finish Judge by the IAAF

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Chris Haxell

17th September 2014

Following a year where a record number of UK Athletics officials were called up for international duty, the UK is continuing to lead the way with the selection of one of the youngest ever International Photo Finish (IPF) judges by the IAAF.

At the age of 33, Chris Haxell took his place as an IPF Judge at the IAAF Continental Cup in Morocco last weekend to become the latest Briton to officiate on the global stage.
 
Haxell, who will be turning 34 in November, is expecting to be chosen to fulfil the role for the IAAF over the next couple of years at the major events such as the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. He is following in the footsteps of his mother, Wendy, who is one of the most respected officials in the country.

Haxell joins a number of Brits who fill high profile positions on the global athletics officiating stage including starter, Alan Bell – who is renowned for setting off many of the world’s most famous races, and Linda Turner, who last year became the first British women to be appointed to the role of International Technical Official.

Haxell says his life in athletics started at a young age when he would help carry results around at local events and his enjoyment never faltered. With the encouragement of his mother, he became a qualified official at the age of 16 and has never looked back.

He made a quick progression in the sport and says he couldn’t have done this without the support of his fellow officials.

‘With the help and guidance of many mentors along the way I progressed up the athletics chain and found myself officiating at a national level in the mid-2000s.’

‘Following the sad passing of David Littlewood MBE, I was invited to take on the role of International Photo Finish Judge for the Continental Cup in Marrakesh. This was an incredible opportunity that was both exciting and at the same time a little bittersweet as David had been one of my mentors progressing through athletics in Surrey.’
 
Haxell is also the Deputy Head of Thorpe Lea Primary School in Surrey. His duties in Marrakesh for the IAAF Continental Cup have come at the start of the school term but Haxell has appreciated the support from his school as he took his place as an international photo finish judge.

‘Before the event I was extremely excited to take on such a responsibility and challenge, and I’m thankful to my school who are very supportive of my exploits in athletics.  My nerves were soon settled though through the warm welcome and support that was provided by my International Technical Official colleagues.

‘The event itself was a great opportunity for me to put my skills to the test. Judging several races with only thousandths between athletes provided several kicks of adrenaline that helped keep my concentration at its peak throughout the event.’

There was no doubt there were some close calls, including the men’s 100m which was won by GB & NI’s James Dasaolu by 0.01 seconds from the American Mike Rodgers. This is all part for the job and Haxell was praised for his services over the weekend in North Africa.

Malcolm Rogers, the Chair of the Technical Advisory Group commented:

“We are delighted that the IAAF has appointed Chris to the panel of International Photo Finish Judges. UKA’s representation on IAAF and European Athletics Technical Officials and Technical Delegates panels is currently the highest ever. Chris’s selection in his early thirties demonstrates the quality of the younger talent that we have coming through. We look forward to many more such appointments”.

For Haxell, he is looking forward to holding these responsibilities over the next few years.

‘I am now extremely excited to continue my role as an International Photo Finish Judge and look forward to the announcement of the appointments for the next two years shortly before my 34th birthday in November.’