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Who Won the Athletics World Championships?

2011 Sep 06 14:24   category: World Affairs   author:  
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The recently completed Athletics World Championships held at Daegu, South Korea, provided another exciting opportunity to enjoy multinational sporting competition at the very highest level. There were some superb individual performances and a thrilling finale as Jamaica took the 4x100m relay title with a new world record time. Our congratulations go to the organizers and all the athletes who participated and made this event such a success. The only question that remains is, ‘who won?’

By ‘who won?’ we mean which nation and, just as with the Commonwealth Games 11 months ago, we’re curious to see if it’s possible to compare national performances so that all countries, regardless of vastly differing resources, have a chance to come out on top. This time we have used the results provided in the final placing table to calculate a results score that is then adjusted for national GDP in a way that minimizes the spread of results. It’s not an exact science and we’ll skip the fine details but we think that the resulting GDP adjusted ranking is quite plausible and makes for interesting reading.

So on the basis of this analysis we declare Kenya the winners with Jamaica the runners up and we suspect that few people would quibble with this. Both relatively small nations excelled in their favorite disciplines. Russian athletes also performed well and did enough to move ahead of the better resourced USA team in our GDP adjusted ranking. Also noteworthy are two very small nations, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis, both of which made our top ten. So please take a look at the ranking to see how your favorite nation fared and how good their prospects might be for next year’s Olympics.

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