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  • Think the USA had it bad in Beijing?

    From a front-page article

    "Hurdler Isabelle Pedersen’s ninth-place finish was the best Norway could offer."

    Ouch.

    Thorky and Grete W and Ingrid K, etc., can't be pleased.

  • #2
    How did Tonga do?
    And Greenland?

    What about Tahiti?

    LOL

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    • #3
      Not good, but Norway is a small country of about 5 million people, comparable to an average size state in the US.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kevinsdad View Post
        Not good, but Norway is a small country of about 5 million people
        As compared to say, Jamaica, who has a population of . . . oh, wait, bad example . . . they have HALF the population of Norway. ;-)

        Too bad teensy countries like Trinidad or the Bahamas can never field a good relay team!

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        • #5
          Let's face it, TeamUSA SUCKED in Beijing!!
          Aside from Jenny & Alysia---who had good excuses (losing a shoe & falling)---the squad was a FAILURE!!

          Especially the 100H foursome!
          Even the "best" of them got just 4th place!
          Another finished LAST, there was a DNF & a FS!!

          Then you had the 800's---both genders!

          Montano & Martinez could be seen as reasonable picks for at least a Bronze.
          Nope!
          Then the men went kaput too----while the USATF left our best guy home!!

          Kara Winger couldn't top 200 feet---after doing so all season---all the way to a near-PR!

          Isn't it ironic that one of the BEST performances came from a guy who, just 48 hours later, had a freakin' kidney transplant?!!

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          • #6
            Russia has probably the worst performance of any country relative to what they have done in the past.
            Last edited by ATK; 09-03-2015, 04:04 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by aaronk View Post
              Kara Winger couldn't top 200 feet---after doing so all season---all the way to a near-PR!
              Winger is frankly a piss poor example. She had qualified for four previous world champs or olympics and had finished 41,31,29 and 21st in those four. She threw 62.21 in the qualifying (the 5th best of her 13 meets for the year) to qualify 12th and then came back and finished 8th in the final. Your absolute and complete focus on marks while ignoring actual competitive results (and ignoring the fact that pr's/sb's at major championships in field events are fairly rare) is slightly annoying.

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              • #8
                The Norwegian team didn't underperform; while this was their weakest WC showing, with the athletes they had this year it was never going to be any better. T&FN's formcharts had no Norwegians in the top 10; Pedersen in 9th overperformed.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LopenUupunut View Post
                  with the athletes they had this year it was never going to be any better.
                  Does that not cause the identical concern - why?

                  Similar question - how did Sweden have their big hay-day in the 90s and how have they lost it? (hint - the answer doesn't presuppose the 'forbidden subject' here, because everyone had access to the same stuff.)

                  Where are all the Flying Finns now?!

                  Danes, what Danes? (Kipketer doesn't count!)

                  C'mon Scandinavians*!

                  * officially, Finland is a Nordic country, not Scan, but for the sake of this post, consider them to be! ;-)
                  Last edited by Atticus; 09-03-2015, 04:31 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ATK View Post
                    Russia has probably the worst performance of any country relative to what they have done in the past.
                    Yes I don't recall the Russians ever falling below 8 medals in my 35 yrs of watching these big meets. I bet they don't do as bad next summer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Probably many reasons.

                      Lifestyles in Scandinavia have changed, and kids don't get as much exercise as they used to; but Sweden, for one, has not stopped producing brilliant talents. Their 2015 WC team included former World Youth and Junior Champion Angelica Bengtsson, World Youth silver medalist Michaela Meijer, European Youth Champion Erika Kinsey and Youth Olympic Champion Khaddi Sagnia among others. The other Scandinavian/Nordic countries don't have the same number of age group talents, but they do have some.

                      The problem is that the Nordic countries are very good at losing talented athletes between age 17 and age 22. I have complained about this before with regard to Finland, but it's also true for the other Nordic countries. It's almost impossible to overstate the importance of the NCAA system to USA's continued success in T&F; the Nordic countries have nothing like that.

                      Of course, the Nordic countries didn't have the NCAA system in their glory days either. But there are at least two reasons why the situation is worse now. The one is that the sport is losing popularity; while it's still more popular here than in many other corners of the world, it's not as popular as it once was. Accordingly, athletes (particularly women) feel stronger pressure to move on with their lives, which is why it's very, very important that you keep improving and stay motivated just when it's harder than ever before in your life to do so. (Erika Kinsey dropped out of the sport for many years - and her sudden comeback coincides with, surprise surprise, her moving to study and live in the United States.) The second is that it was much, much easier to keep improving during those key years and reach the top (and stay motivated and keep your sponsors and supporters behind you) if you had access to the forbidden stuff; it made up for the lack of an NCAA system to some extent. And yes, not having access to the forbidden stuff today does in itself hurt Scandinavian athletes even if "everyone" had access in the old days.

                      Moreover, all the Nordic countries are relatively small and the appearance or disappearance of one or two athletes (which no one would notice in America) can make a huge difference in their fortunes. Norway has never had a lot of top athletes, and often only had one or two in the top eight; that they'd eventually hit zero through pure random variation was entirely expected. (Indeed, I'm not sure this was really the first time it happened - I looked at the 2001 results, and the best Norwegian result I could find was 9th place, same as this year.)

                      It's like the men's long jump - the results feel miserable, but add Lewis and Powell and we have an instant long jump glory age.

                      (Footnote: the Nordic countries did use the NCAA system in their glory days. Kajsa Bergqvist, for one, was an NCAA athlete; she was a talented age group jumper, but not outstanding, and her years in the USA played a huge part in turning her into a world beater. But this isn't an explanation since it hasn't stopped; Jussi Kanervo - the only Finnish athlete to win a medal at the latest Euro U23s, hint, nudge, cough - is an NCAA athlete.)

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                      • #12
                        well-considered response, Lopen - thanks!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by aaronk View Post
                          How did Tonga do?
                          And Greenland?

                          What about Tahiti?

                          LOL
                          I think if you check you will find that neither Tahiti nor Greenland are recognized as countries by the IAAF and their athletes compete under the banner of France and Denmark respectively.

                          Tonga has a population of 105,000. While they may not do so well as a country in the IAAF scene there are one or two good athletes of Tongan ethnicity such as Valerie Adams. You will probably also find that Tongans, based on population size, have a much higher rate of NFL participation of any similar size population center in the US - excepting for American Samoa. Also, rugby players of Tongan ethnicity probably have the highest rate of world class players of any country.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tuariki View Post
                            I think if you check you will find that neither Tahiti nor Greenland are recognized as countries by the IAAF and their athletes compete under the banner of France and Denmark respectively.

                            Tonga has a population of 105,000. While they may not do so well as a country in the IAAF scene there are one or two good athletes of Tongan ethnicity such as Valerie Adams. You will probably also find that Tongans, based on population size, have a much higher rate of NFL participation of any similar size population center in the US - excepting for American Samoa. Also, rugby players of Tongan ethnicity probably have the highest rate of world class players of any country.
                            My naming Tonga (& the other 2) was meant as a joke of sorts---even a derogatory one.
                            I apologize to all Tongans!!

                            But there's an interesting story why I always mention Tonga when giving examples of tiny obscure nations or entities.

                            In the 70's & 80's---in Arcata CA---I worked 5 years as a clerk in a used bookstore called the "Tin Can Mail Man".
                            It was owned by Willie Mauck, who had spent 2 years in the Peace Corp in the 60's on one of the smaller islands of Tonga.

                            He told me that the mail was delivered to the island by a guy in an aluminum boat maybe once a week.
                            They called him the "tin can mail man"

                            So when he opened his bookstore in 1972, he named it after that mail man!!

                            ADD: Just bought the 2012 edition of Wilfried Kramer's book of National Records.
                            (See thread I started in Historical about GB & England regarding that book!)
                            I also own the earlier edition of that book---from 2003.

                            In the 2003 edition, Greenland, Tahiti, and Tonga are all in there as nations.
                            But in the 2012 edition, while Greenland and Tonga are still listed, Tahiti is NOT!!
                            Last edited by aaronk; 09-04-2015, 04:49 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                              From a front-page article

                              "Hurdler Isabelle Pedersen’s ninth-place finish was the best Norway could offer."

                              Ouch.

                              Thorky and Grete W and Ingrid K, etc., can't be pleased.
                              Spare Grete W, she died in 2011. But it's terrible. They have nobody at the top level anymore. Ingebrigtsen insists he is world class no matter what. Rodal is not happy either. He got in hot water for criticizing Norway's top Heptathlete who always finishes around 28-30. They have overperfomed before but like Sweden and Finland they have gone in the tank. I think Thorky is finished even if he promises a come-back next year. Yes, it's a small country but Soccer has grown so insanely popular over the last decades. They roll out carpets (artificial turf) in the few indoor facilities and play 5 a-side soccer during the winter. When I grew up Soccer was always the biggest sport during the season but Track was not that far behind. We used to compete with guys in their 20s and 30's who had serious jobs and trained with their clubs in the evenings. Track was their hobby and they competed for years. Those days are so gone! They have some promising youngsters but they tend to disappear.

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