OG 2012 Track & Field: American team better in London than Daegu

LOS ANGELES, August 7, 2012 – If you’ve been keeping up with our team scoring of the Olympic track & field competition, you’re already aware that the U.S. team has been making a shambles of the competition on the men’s side and has a chance to win the points race for the first time since 1968 (in a non-boycotted Games).

How well the U.S. is doing is revealed by charting American performances at the Games as compared with the Olympic Trials. Our side-by-side comparison of the competitions this far (click here) shows:

• American men have performed better at the Games than the Trials 30.3% of the time (10 out of 33 marks);

• American women have been on fire, performing better in London than in Eugene 48.4% of the time (15 out of 31 marks);

• Combined, the U.S. team has been better in London 39.1% of the time so far (25 out of 64).

You might think this low, but it is much better than in 2011 at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. There, American performers were measurably worse:

• Men 2011: 11.5 out of 54 (21.3%) were better at the World Champs;
• Women 2011: 16.0 out of 52 (30.8%) were better at the World Champs;
• Combined: 27.5 out of 106 (25.9%) were better in Daegu.

Interestingly, the U.S. championships for 2011 were held nine weeks prior to the Worlds in Daegu, while the U.S. Olympic Trials were only 4 1/2 weeks ahead of the Games. Is later better? Better bangers & mash than kimchi?

(You can stay current with Rich’s technology, sports and Olympic commentaries by following him at www.twitter.com/RichPerelman.)

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