Who’s the greatest of them all?


Comparing athletes of the past against athletes of the present is of course a subjective issue because of the changes in training, equipment and diet throughout the years but it’s still something that fascinates me immensely and I’m always trying to work out the perfect formula to try and come up with an all-time great list of athletes.

In a recently published ‘Track Stats’ the great quarterly publication by NUTS, they have started to reproduce Trevor Crowe’s all time ratings which are based on performances in Championships and I’m looking forward to comparing these to what I come up with.

In recent times I’ve been looking at comparing the athletes top 10 average best performances with a time of that era compared with a modern time, be it the World record at the time or the tenth best time of the year and results aren’t looking to bad but there’s still a lot of number crunching and entering of data to do before I’m anywhere near producing a comprehensive list across all the events.

Of course one thing that will dominate any list is drugs offences over the years, and I will be removing any times/distances achieved in line with IAAF standards, but of course there have been admissions of guilt from athletes in the past and this obviously casts a shadow over her achievements in the early part of her career which included three world titles and three Olympic medals.

Keep a look out here for regular updates on my findings, I’m currently working on the Women’s Long Jump and men’s 10,000 metres so expect to see some form of top 10 appearing here soon for at least those two events.


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