2013 IAAF World Championships and Performance Trends

As we approach the IAAF 14th  World Athletics Championships in Moscow, be sure to download or view their bi-annual statistics book as a trendy magazine style tabloid, or you can download the entire PDF here. (32MB file)

What was interesting was the section on performance trends.

As far as the sport as a whole goes, I usually “ignore” the winning time as it could be a freak win, or unusual weather conditions, but what is important is the other athletes in the field and how they rank.  This is how they base qualifying standards for the next championships.

IAAF Moscow 2013 Statistics Book

For example, what was the slowest time in the Final, assuming they don’t pull a Derek Redmond in 1992?  (Did they DQ him because he had assistance from his father?  Did they DQ him for running out of his lane?)

What was the fastest time in a semi-final WITHOUT making the finals? 

Or fastest time in quarter-finals WITHOUT making the semi-finals?

This is valuable information for all coaches as you may have a top 32 ranked athlete (or top 100), and wonder how far he or she will go at the Championships.  Of course, many countries will not send athletes unless they can guarantee a top 16 or top 8 finish.

(Starting on Page 18) Note that starting 2011, there are only 3 rounds for the 100 and 200 meters, instead of 4, but they also introduced the “Preliminary Round” for the 100m for non-qualifiers.

I don’t know why they bother tracking the 8th place finisher for 100m and 110mH since we get a lot of DNFs.

You’ll also notice starting in 2001, there are only 3 rounds (not 4) for the 400 meters, making 1999 the last time there was 4 rounds.  Back then, it was harder to double up in an event like a 200/400 resulting in 8 races in 6 days.  Plus relays!

Sample Times

Let’s look at some sample times.

For example, in 2003, a 10.28 100 meters wouldn’t get you out of the heats!!!  A 10.14 wouldn’t get you out of the quarter finals!

In 2009, 10.04 is the fastest loser in the semi-final that didn’t advance to the finals!  And you wonder why the semi-finals are more nerve racking to watch, at least for the coaches!

For the 400m, in 2007, a 45.44 in the first round would send you home!

The message?  For most of you in the early rounds, it’s go hard or go home.

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