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Why Do Jamaicans Run So Fast?

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  • #31
    why do Americans run so fast? would be a better question. jamaica just has the great fortune of having a guy running the 100 and 200 better than anyone ever has and the second fastest 100 meter runner in history, both at their best.
    i looked at the tilastopaja scoreboard and here are the results.

    all time top 100 performers list by country.
    men 100 meters
    1. USA 46
    2. JAMAICA 10
    3. nigeria 9
    4. trinidad 5

    men 200 meters
    1. USA 54
    2. JAMAICA and GB 5 each.

    men 400 meters
    1. USA 47
    2. GB 9
    3. JAMAICA 6

    women 100 meters
    1. USA 35
    2. GERMANY 14
    3. JAMAICA 12

    women 200 meters
    1. USA 34
    2. GERMANY13
    3. JAMAICA 11

    women 400 meters
    1. USA 21
    2. RUSSIA 18
    3. GERMANY 14
    4. JAMAICA 7

    using the top 100 performance list for 2009

    men 100
    1. USA 38
    2. JAMAICA 13

    men 200
    1. USA 48
    2. JAMAICA 8

    men 400
    1. USA 40
    2. JAMAICA 10

    women 100
    1. USA 40
    2. JAMAICA 13

    women 200
    1. USA 41
    2. JAMAICA 12

    women 400
    1. USA 30
    2. JAMAICA 15

    here is the top 100 performer list for 2008
    men 100
    1. USA 37
    2. JAMAICA 10

    men 200
    1. USA 37
    2. JAMAICA 8

    men 400
    1. USA 36
    2. JAMAICA 6

    women 100
    1. USA 40
    2. JAMAICA 11

    women 200
    1. USA 34
    2. JAMAICA 12

    women 400
    1. USA 23
    2. RUSSIA 18
    3. JAMAICA 15

    so jamaica has a few very top stars who last year were better than our team last year, but we have runners what 5 under 19.70 for 200 and the depth, so at the olympics in 2008 jamaica won the battle, but with our best and the depth we will almost always be better.

    its kind of like when france broke the 4 x 100 record, they were better that day, but no one can honestly put france up with the usa in overall sprinting.

    Comment


    • #32
      Doug you need to also look at the otherside of the stats man. Makes no sense you say a diamond mine which yeilds 5 karats of many small gems out of 50 tonnes of earth is a better mine than a smaller one which yeilds 1karat of gem from 1/4 tonne of earth.

      To the others with the mean spirted views: its just a holsom funny thread no need to get patriotic or malicious.

      Comment


      • #33
        i wasnt intending to be mean spirited, i get it the USA has more depth and JAMAICA has a higher percentage, that could be the same in the USA there usually is more good 4 x 100 high school relays in texas than every other state combined. i think one year kim collins medal made his country the highest percentage of medals per person.

        Comment


        • #34
          The top 100 list favors a big country because it has depth. There was a previous thread with some acrimony wherein a key poster to two where this issue arouse (smaller difference between 1/2/3 and 5/6/7 in the US vs JAM because of the depth/size).

          Our sport gives huge rewards to those that peak in the right year out of four (and the right week out of 52) and JAM gets props for having done this in spades last year.

          Comment


          • #35
            This thread in essence, is really no different than any other thread. Folks will reply in the manner in which they feel suits them.

            IMO, the question should be why do some people run faster than others. We're all human beings first, to say because you're born in a certain country and that makes you run faster, how in the world do you prove that :?
            on the road

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Speedfirst
              This thread in essence, is really no different than any other thread. Folks will reply in the manner in which they feel suits them.

              IMO, the question should be why do some people run faster than others. We're all human beings first, to say because you're born in a certain country and that makes you run faster, how in the world do you prove that :?
              By setting WRs and bringing in medals... :lol: :wink:

              It would be interesting to note if the HPC (High Performance Centers...one of which is based in Jamaica and another in Puerto Rico I believe) keep some type of empirical data on those (specifically sprinters) who utilize their services.

              Comment


              • #37
                Of course the greater depth may have something to do with the U.S. having over 100 times the population of Jamaica (304 million vs. 2.8 million). Or, to put it another way, Jamaica has roughly the same population as the city of Chicago or the NYC borough of Brooklyn.

                Those who say that current Jamaican sprinting power is a flash in the pan would do well to remember that Jamaicans have had a pretty lengthy history of being highly competitive, going back at least as far as Herb McKenley and Arthur Wint in the '48 Olympics. And, as was pointed out at the beginning of the thread, a number of other top-end sprinters, not only from the U.S. but also Britain and Canada, have had Jamaican or West Indian origins.

                Outside of all the talk about geographic and racial origins, I think anyone who has ever been to a Penn Relays or track meet here in NYC could see the main reason for this. Track is a major sport in Jamaica, in some ways THE major sport (except maybe cricket?), with big-time school programs that compete at a very high level, and a very large and avid fan base. And people of Jamaican origins who compete outside of Jamaica very often have a powerful family and social connection to the sport. One of the main effects of the popularity of the sport there is that Jamaica's best athletes tend to go into t&f, and receive very good coaching from elders who have also competed at a high level. Unlike in the U.S., where great athletes may choose a number of more popular and lucrative sports before track, or Brazil with its soccer culture.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by doug091463
                  why do Americans run so fast? would be a better question. jamaica just has the great fortune of having a guy running the 100 and 200 better than anyone ever has and the second fastest 100 meter runner in history, both at their best.
                  i looked at the tilastopaja scoreboard and here are the results.

                  all time top 100 performers list by country.
                  men 100 meters
                  1. USA 46
                  2. JAMAICA 10
                  3. nigeria 9
                  4. trinidad 5

                  men 200 meters
                  1. USA 54
                  2. JAMAICA and GB 5 each.

                  men 400 meters
                  1. USA 47
                  2. GB 9
                  3. JAMAICA 6

                  women 100 meters
                  1. USA 35
                  2. GERMANY 14
                  3. JAMAICA 12

                  women 200 meters
                  1. USA 34
                  2. GERMANY13
                  3. JAMAICA 11

                  women 400 meters
                  1. USA 21
                  2. RUSSIA 18
                  3. GERMANY 14
                  4. JAMAICA 7

                  using the top 100 performance list for 2009

                  men 100
                  1. USA 38
                  2. JAMAICA 13

                  men 200
                  1. USA 48
                  2. JAMAICA 8

                  men 400
                  1. USA 40
                  2. JAMAICA 10

                  women 100
                  1. USA 40
                  2. JAMAICA 13

                  women 200
                  1. USA 41
                  2. JAMAICA 12

                  women 400
                  1. USA 30
                  2. JAMAICA 15

                  here is the top 100 performer list for 2008
                  men 100
                  1. USA 37
                  2. JAMAICA 10

                  men 200
                  1. USA 37
                  2. JAMAICA 8

                  men 400
                  1. USA 36
                  2. JAMAICA 6

                  women 100
                  1. USA 40
                  2. JAMAICA 11

                  women 200
                  1. USA 34
                  2. JAMAICA 12

                  women 400
                  1. USA 23
                  2. RUSSIA 18
                  3. JAMAICA 15

                  so jamaica has a few very top stars who last year were better than our team last year, but we have runners what 5 under 19.70 for 200 and the depth, so at the olympics in 2008 jamaica won the battle, but with our best and the depth we will almost always be better.

                  its kind of like when france broke the 4 x 100 record, they were better that day, but no one can honestly put france up with the usa in overall sprinting.
                  This entire post highlights the acheivment of JA. Per captia, financial resources....

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Al in NYC
                    Of course the greater depth may have something to do with the U.S. having over 100 times the population of Jamaica (304 million vs. 2.8 million). Or, to put it another way, Jamaica has roughly the same population as the city of Chicago or the NYC borough of Brooklyn.
                    The greater population is a major reason why the USA sprint depth is greater than the JAM depth. Because of the depth difference, I would expect the quality of the top JAMs to be more 'episodic' (simply as a statistical implication - when there is a smaller base, the first and second order statistics have greater variance).

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Per capita does not deal with the realities of one nation who's has a huge national interest in the sport of T&F with respect to another who has to deal with the sport of T&F being a 3rd tier sport.

                      IMO, it gives a new meaning to the entire "per capita" argument. As no one can tell me that all of our best athletes are participating in the sport with respect to population.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        The USA has a much larger population but the differential is not nearly so good among the subset of the population with the genetics that have the highest likelihood of being a world-class sprinter.

                        This does not distract from the point that the relative importance of sprints is higher in JAM than in the USA, especially now. However, if this point was the dominant one (given the population with some top potential, it would not help without that), then the level of the 6/7/8/9 sprinters would be close that that of the top 1/2 (i.e., it would be harder to make the final at nationals, and that might be a good thing for the almost-top athletes in JAM because it helps keep them in the game, given a lower level of funding[not certain that this funding comment is correct//can JAM people comment?])

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by knite
                          Per capita does not deal with the realities of one nation who's has a huge national interest in the sport of T&F with respect to another who has to deal with the sport of T&F being a 3rd tier sport.
                          .
                          Probably that's why the question intimating that Jamaicans are so fast is fitting. Its not literally saying that Jamaicans are swift people and likly to be swifter than other people (the stats could be swayed either way).

                          Its just highlighting some things including that which you said. Its more of a metaphor to say Jamaicans really love track and do well in it for what they are worth, further to that given the current trends and maintainance of their devoted track programme, they will continue to do well for what they are worth or up to their ultimate potential.

                          Come on guys lets not get in over our heads. as I said , I don't think this is one of those kinds of threads. someone said it best Ja is always there at the stellar event every 4 years or every other year with creditable performances. Last year was all aces kind a hand which might be unlikely to happen again but sure to get somewhere near there again.

                          Just relax and make the good vibes flow.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by knite
                            Per capita does not deal with the realities of one nation who's has a huge national interest in the sport of T&F with respect to another who has to deal with the sport of T&F being a 3rd tier sport.

                            IMO, it gives a new meaning to the entire "per capita" argument. As no one can tell me that all of our best athletes are participating in the sport with respect to population.
                            Frankly T&F is ranked 3rd in JA behind football and cricket. Historically kids spoke mythically of Quarrie and McKinley, but they would rather be a Walsh, Holding, Rowe or a John Barnes, Pele or Romario. We have always lost sprinters to cricket and football - maybe the tide is now turning as both Bolt and Blake were former pacers turned sprinters...

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Paul Henry
                              Originally posted by knite
                              Per capita does not deal with the realities of one nation who's has a huge national interest in the sport of T&F with respect to another who has to deal with the sport of T&F being a 3rd tier sport.
                              .
                              Probably that's why the question intimating that Jamaicans are so fast is fitting. Its not literally saying that Jamaicans are swift people and likly to be swifter than other people (the stats could be swayed either way).

                              Its just highlighting some things including that which you said. Its more of a metaphor to say Jamaicans really love track and do well in it for what they are worth, further to that given the current trends and maintainance of their devoted track programme, they will continue to do well for what they are worth or up to their ultimate potential.

                              Come on guys lets not get in over our heads. as I said , I don't think this is one of those kinds of threads. someone said it best Ja is always there at the stellar event every 4 years or every other year with creditable performances. Last year was all aces kind a hand which might be unlikely to happen again but sure to get somewhere near there again.

                              Just relax and make the good vibes flow.
                              Who's uptight? Or making this into more than what it is?

                              Just making my opinion known as the next poster.

                              I never get the idea that this speed with JA is a "new thing"...they've been very good on the world level for a long time. Now, it might not be in the bunch as we've seen last yr, but that had more to do with the dominance of Bolt last yr than it being a ton of JA athletes overpowering the world scene. While I accept the women's result, I still question it, as even one of the medalists still has a problem dealing with this race as well.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                What's interesting to me as well is this, where was this question before 2009?
                                Again we can both enjoy and appreciate the accomplishments that obviously lead to this question being posed.

                                But we can debate all day long this question, there is no one definitive answer.
                                on the road

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