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What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

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  • What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

    I noticed something interesting while checking the all-time discus lists. 17 of the top 81 men's throws (by 59 athletes) were made since 2000. Of the top 64 women's throws (by 51 athletes) only 5 have happened since 1999. That is 7.8% of the best women's throws since '99, and 21% of the best men's throws in less time.

    A whopping 37.5% (24/64) of the women's list lies prior to 1990. Somewhat counter-intuitively, an even whopping-er 64.2% (52/81) of the men's list predates 1990. No surprise that 1990 is right after the Berlin Wall fall, but it seems peculiar that there are so many more good recent throws by men when far more of the men's list is also ancient. Conclusions?

  • #2
    Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

    The answer belongs on the 'THG' board. Women are more affected than men.

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    • #3
      Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

      "Women are more affected than men."

      Then why is so much more of the best men's throwing in the same distant era? If drugs is your final offer, how do you explain the fact that LESS of the best women's throwing happened B4 1990??

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      • #4
        Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

        If discus throwing was lucrative (for less-than-WC/OG-medalist level), the stats would be different.

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        • #5
          Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

          That is true. There is still a lot about a cursory glance of the men's and women's lists which made me stop and think "what is this?". It seems like there are a few hidden factors and it doesn not appear to be drug-related, certainly not entirely. If one assumes the women's list has shrivelled up recently more than the men's because of drugs, then why don't we similar distribution over time in other events, like the 100, another anaerobic, explosive event where many of the best results are AFTER 1990. And what accounts for the gap in the men's list between '90 and 2000 - 91% of the best 81 throws lie OUTSIDE those years.

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          • #6
            Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

            Correction - about 85% of the top 81 men's throws are before 1990 or after 2000.

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            • #7
              Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

              >That is true. There is still a lot about a cursory glance of the men's and
              >women's lists which made me stop and think "what is this?". It seems like
              >there are a few hidden factors and it doesn not appear to be drug-related,
              >certainly not entirely. If one assumes the women's list has shrivelled up
              >recently more than the men's because of drugs, then why don't we similar
              >distribution over time in other events, like the 100, another anaerobic,
              >explosive event where many of the best results are AFTER 1990. And what
              >accounts for the gap in the men's list between '90 and 2000 - 91% of the best
              >81 throws lie OUTSIDE those years.>>

              Couple of technical points to consider.

              Rash of fast times in the 100 after '90, I believe, can be largely traced to the development of super-hard Mondo tracks and spikes which take advantage of the surface. Far less energy lost than used to be.

              Any analysis of discus marks (particularly men's) requires knowing what was up in the wind department. Schult's WR, for example, was made under such preposterous gale-like conditions that he supposedly laughed out loud after they measured his mark. All those ancient San José marks that figure prominently on the ATL were made in a ring specifically laid out to take advantage of a perfect strong quartering wind.

              And then there's personnel. San José meet no longer exists. And if it did, wouldn't have a trio of sometime WR holders going at it hammer and tongs.

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              • #8
                Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

                I checked what happens if you use the top 64 as a cutoff point for men too. Not much difference, it's still weird. 39/64, 61%, of the best men's throws before '90 (compared to only 37.5% by women) and still a lot more recent better men's throws: 14/64, 17.3%, since 2000, only 1/64 women, or

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                • #9
                  Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

                  or 1.5% (pardon the split post) So it appears we are seeing a considerable resurgence in the men's event vis a vis the women, since the turn of the century . If this could be explained away by drugs, we ought to have seen more of the top women's list sitting prior to 1990, not very much the reverse, as it is.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

                    Denying the effect of drugs on weight marks 1970-2000 would be akin to saying the lunar landing was a fraud. And we know that steroids, HGH, testosterone, etc., have a greater effect on women than men, ergo the top-end statistics are drastically skewed for women, BUT . . . as you go further done the annual lists, the effects begin to peter out. AND . . . I really believe that 2003 will go down as the year that we turned the corner on the drug issue. The more NEGATIVE publicity we get, the better for a cleaner sport in the future. Of course, in the mean time, it's absolutely killing us in the public arena. Right now, my casual fan colleagues are saying, 'wake me up when you clean up the sport, and I'll start paying attention again.'

                    Sorry 'bout the rant - I know it belongs behind door #3, but I get sadder and sadder every day we sit mired in this mess.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

                      "And then there's personnel. San José meet no longer exists. And if it did, wouldn't have a trio of sometime WR holders going at it hammer and tongs."

                      Fascinating what that reveals. Of the top 43 throws ever made by men, 7 were in San Jose - 16.3%!! In addition, 18 out of the best 64 throws of all time landed in California - 28.2%. That's nearly one in every 3.5 throws of the BEST 64 ever made. Unfortunately, only 3 have come since '98. We're either having a dearth of talent in the event, or like Garry points out the absence of a fixed location for an event denies much to the throwers - the best competition in one place well as well suited to throwing as San Jose.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

                        "the effect of drugs on weight marks 1970-2000 would be akin to saying the lunar landing was a fraud"

                        Sure but I expected to find the women doing better vis a vis the men PRIOR to 90, for obvious reasons. Time to see how this throwing phenom compares to shot put, since you can rule out implement changes and wind more than with the javelin and discus, and hopefully isolate the throwing.

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                        • #13
                          Re: What's Up With the Discus Statistics?

                          >"And then there's personnel. San José meet no longer exists. And if it did,
                          >wouldn't have a trio of sometime WR holders going at it hammer and
                          >tongs."

                          Fascinating what that reveals. Of the top 43 throws ever made by
                          >men, 7 were in San Jose - 16.3%!! In addition, 18 out of the best 64 throws of
                          >all time landed in California - 28.2%. That's nearly one in every 3.5 throws
                          >of the BEST 64 ever made. Unfortunately, only 3 have come since '98. We're
                          >either having a dearth of talent in the event, or like Garry points out the
                          >absence of a fixed location for an event denies much to the throwers - the best
                          >competition in one place well as well suited to throwing as San Jose.




                          There seems to be several different locations which are suited more for different events. For example, Sestriere is renowned for producing good long jumps (thanks to the altitude); Reiti and Hengelo tend to produce fast times in the distance races; the Atlanta, Seville and Tokyo tracks all produced great times; London is a good place for fast Marathon times, etc...

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