Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    "Dominance" is generally understood as the prevailing position in a hierarchical order. The dominance of #1 is measured as how prevailing that position is compared to the "field." And the field starts with #2. If the top two are close, and there is a large gap between #2 and #3, that represents the dominance of the top two, but not the #1. (The same goes for #1-3 close and a big gap after that.)

    I should not have written "exact same way" because it isn't. I find the assumption of normal distribution dubious about athletic performances. But I will not further speculate on what distribution performances of each event has, except it could be quite different depending on the nature of the event.

    If you want to retract "these examples should crystallize how much deeper track events are than the multis" that's fine. I would be interested in how you define dominance and what you think is the best measurement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN1965 View Post

    2. Women's HT is still a very young event. We should check back in 20 years to see how many of Włodarczyk's marks are still in the top 20.

    3. Doesn't Zelezny benefit from the change of spec in javelin? I have no idea how records with the old spec compared to the new ones.



    JJK is 259 pts ahead of Kluft. The difference between Kluft and Dobrynska (#20) is 254 pts.
    I don't buy that the women's hammer is a 'young event', or a 'developing event'. How long does an event have to be going before you consider it's established? It's been on the international championship programme since 1999 - that's 20 years for those poor at math - and was being competed in way before that. The first 70m throw (73m throw...) was back in 1997. It ceased being a young event a long time ago.

    JJK herself has benefited from the heptathlon scoring tables not changing when the javelin specification changed back in 1999. I did some analysis ages ago and the heptathletes competing during that era did lose some distance. It is complicated but there was an drop. When you change the weight of the javelin it affects everyone who throws it, period. Of course, JJK would still be way out there, but less so.

    The other thing to point out is the heptathlon tables are based on a rather outdated formula that over-rewards the excellent sprinter/jumpers. I'm going off topic but it's important to consider when you look at 'true' versatility. If you're an average sprinter and an excellent thrower, bad luck, you'll never score big points like the average throwers/excellent hurdlers, jumpers and sprinters. This is not JJKs fault, but it means that when one looks at true versatility, it's very hard to do just by looking at overall scores in the heptathlon, because the Thiam's, Turchinskaya's & Dobrynska's big events will never reward them in the same way.
    13.85 hurdles gets you 1000 pts, a 1.82 HJ does - many of the top heptathletes can do those marks. 23.80 over 200m gets you the same. That's fast, absolutely, but that's why the events draws in sprinter/jumpers. You want 1000 pts in the SP or JT, you have to be able to throw over 17m and 57m, distances that virtually all the top heptathletes simply cannot do.
    This is why I think Thiam is truly versatile. Being able to HJ over 2.02m but also throw over 59m in the JT is amazing.

    Last point, back on topic. It's also difficult to compare times/marks/scores in different eras in this exercise. The 1970's, 80's & early 90's were....different. How can re rectify this when comparing from different eras? Win/loss streaks, head to heads and medals surely have to trump time/distance/mark?
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhymans View Post
    Very difficult comparing athletes from different events and eras. Peter Matthews and I tried to do it for men and women 4 years ago, and came up with this top-10 for Women

    1. Fanny Blankers-Koen
    2. Irena Szewinska
    3. Iolanda Balas
    4. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
    5. Marita Koch
    6. Yelena Isinbayeva
    7. Tirunesh Dibaba
    8. Heike Drechsler
    9. Gail Devers
    10. Merlene Ottey

    I think only Szewinska is in her class for range and durability. They are followed by the most dominant woman in any single event - Balas [the female equivalent of Ed Moses], and then by JJK - certainly, America's greatest.
    This is a good list, and rightly considers historical context. And 'Americas greatest' is notable. Seeing as this is an American dominated forum, it makes sense many are putting forward a case for JJK over others. I think this list is more objective though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN1965 View Post
    If you want to retract "these examples should crystallize how much deeper track events are than the multis" that's fine. I would be interested in how you define dominance and what you think is the best measurement.
    Fair enough. I already mentioned that the scoring tables are a good starting point but there are problems with that too as has already been pointed out. Let me give this some thought and get back to you.
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    So hollow were the fields for London '48 (which is the basic underpinning for FBK's appearance) I doubt I have a place for her in my top 10. (But I remain a Szewińska #1 kinda guy)
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    I haven't done any kind of research or analysis, but my gut reaction when I saw the title of the thread when it first appeared was Szewińska.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh View Post
    So hollow were the fields for London '48 (which is the basic underpinning for FBK's appearance) I doubt I have a place for her in my top 10. (But I remain a Szewińska #1 kinda guy)
    My sense is that Szewinska's era was closer to Dibaba's era than it was to Koen's era in terms of depth and quality of competition.
    Last edited by jazzcyclist; 07-25-2019 at 03:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzcyclist View Post
    My sense is that Szewinska's era was closer to Dibaba's era than it was to Koen's era in terms of depth and quality of competition.
    Agreed.
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    Agreed as well. Plus she had to face the might of East Germany and then towards the end of her career, Koch, another up for All-Time great. And I think this is significant: for me, the Koch's, Szewinskas, Ashfords, Gohrs, JJKs, Drechslers etc. all get brownie points for competing at the same time and against other greats. (and Ottey gets extra points for competing against virtually everyone LOL)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiederganger View Post
    I don't buy that the women's hammer is a 'young event', or a 'developing event'. How long does an event have to be going before you consider it's established? It's been on the international championship programme since 1999 - that's 20 years for those poor at math - and was being competed in way before that. The first 70m throw (73m throw...) was back in 1997. It ceased being a young event a long time ago.
    The hammer may not be new but it still has a much shallower talent pool than the other throws primarily because of the danger that comes with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiederganger
    The other thing to point out is the heptathlon tables are based on a rather outdated formula that over-rewards the excellent sprinter/jumpers. I'm going off topic but it's important to consider when you look at 'true' versatility. If you're an average sprinter and an excellent thrower, bad luck, you'll never score big points like the average throwers/excellent hurdlers, jumpers and sprinters. This is not JJKs fault, but it means that when one looks at true versatility, it's very hard to do just by looking at overall scores in the heptathlon, because the Thiam's, Turchinskaya's & Dobrynska's big events will never reward them in the same way.
    13.85 hurdles gets you 1000 pts, a 1.82 HJ does - many of the top heptathletes can do those marks. 23.80 over 200m gets you the same. That's fast, absolutely, but that's why the events draws in sprinter/jumpers. You want 1000 pts in the SP or JT, you have to be able to throw over 17m and 57m, distances that virtually all the top heptathletes simply cannot do.
    This is why I think Thiam is truly versatile. Being able to HJ over 2.02m but also throw over 59m in the JT is amazing.
    Amen! 13.85 high school hurdlers are a dime a dozen, but not 17m shot putters or 57m javelin throwers.
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