Best from a Nation


Forum devoted to track & field items of an historical nature.

Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 6:22 am

Clay suggested that someone put together an all-time World Cup matchup. The school year is winding down, so I'm the Rockefeller of free time.

The first part is to put together the eight teams competing. Traditionally, there have been teams representing the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, along with the USA and the top two teams in the European Cup. The all-time men's medal leaders at the European Championships are Russia/USSR and the UK, so we'll go with those two.

World Cup scoring is on an 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Here's our roster for the Pole Vault:

Americas: Rolando Cruz
Europe: Wladislaw Kozakiewicz
Africa: Okkert Brits
Asia: Grigoriy Yegorov
Pacific: Dmitriy Markov
USA: Corny Warmerdam
UK: Geoffrey Elliot
USSR: Sergey Bubka

And the results:
1) Bubka
2) Warmerdam
3) Kozakiewicz
4) Markov
5) Yegorov
6) Brits
7) Cruz
8) Elliot

The Soviets take the early lead. Damn those Communists!
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby dj » Tue Jun 03, 2003 6:46 am

Think you're better served with Charles Hoff of Norway as your European. But he still finishes third.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:10 am

Hoff was good, but Kozak set WRs, ranked #1 four times, and won an Oly gold. Hoff set WRs and was the world's best vaulter for at least four seasons and probably would have won the OG in 1924 had he not been hurt, but that's speculation. Kozak gets extra style points for flipping off the Soviets.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:30 am

We move on to the hammer throw. Our contestants:

Americas: Con Walsh
Asia: Andrey Abduvaliev
Africa: Adam Barnard
Europe: Gyula Zsivotsky
Pacific: Stuart Rendell
USA: Hal Connolly
UK: Tom Nicolson
USSR: Yuri Syedikh

And the results:
1) Syedikh
2) Connolly
3) Zsivotsky
4) Abduvaliev
5) Walsh
6) Nicolson
7) Barnard
8) Rendell

Team scoring through two events:
16 USSR
14 USA
12 Europe
9 Asia
6 Americas
6 Pacific
5 Africa
4 UK
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby dj » Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:32 am

Kozak raised the WR once by 1cm. Hoff raised it five times in a four-year period before being banned. Total raising was 16cm. He redefined the event, which Kozak didn't do.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:45 am

Kozak set 2 WRs -- in Milan on 5/11/1980 (by 1 cm) and in the 1980 Moscow Olympics (by 3 cm). Hoff set 5 WRs which improved the standard by a total of 16 cm, and as a pro exceeded the amateur record once more.

As I go through my files, I see that Hoff was undefeated in four seasons (1922, '23, '25, and '26). In the first three he was far better on marks alone than the rest of the world, but by 1926 they began to catch up with him. Gurdgingly, I'll admit you probably have a point. But Kozak just looked so cool!
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 8:10 am

We move on to the triple jump. And in this corner . . .

Africa: Ajayi Agebebaku
Americas: Adhemar Ferreira da Silva
Asia: Mikio Oda
Europe: Jozef Schmidt
Pacific: Anthony "Nick" Winter
UK: Jonathan Edwards
USA: Mike Conley
USSR: Viktor Saneyev

The placings here get sticky. I'm sure I'll get LOTS of arguments about this one no matter how I rank them.
1) Saneyev
2) Schmidt
3) Edwards
4) da Silva
5) Conley
6) Oda
7) Winter
8) Agebabku

Team scoring through 3 events:
24 USSR
19 Europe
18 USA
12 Asia
11 Americas
10 UK
8 Pacific
6 Africa
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 8:40 am

Our final field event on the first day of the All-Time World Cup is the discus throw.

Africa: Frantz Kruger
Americas: Luis Delis
Asia: Li Weinan
Europe: Adolpho Consolini (not a solid choice over Danek, Schult, Reidel et al)
Pacific: Les Mills
UK: Robert Weir (great musician, too!)
USA: Al Oerter
USSR: Romas Ubartas (can you believe he's their only DT man ever ranked #1?)

The results:
1) Oerter, of course
2) Consolini
3) Delis
4) Ubartas
5) Kruger
6) Weir
7) Li
8) Mills

Team scoring through 4 events:
29 USSR
26 USA
26 Europe
17 Americas
14 Asia
13 UK
10 Africa
9 Pacific
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby gh » Tue Jun 03, 2003 8:51 am

>Kozak raised the WR once by 1cm. Hoff raised it
>five times in a four-year period before being
>banned. Total raising was 16cm. He redefined
>the event, which Kozak didn't do.>>

Hoff also set 11 WRs indoors to Kozak's 1. But the main thing to be considered is that Hoff was redefining the event at a a time when there was no (to my knowledge) technological advancement going on in the pole department. I'm willing to bet that the pole that Kozak set his WRs on didn't even exist when he first made the World Rankings.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 8:56 am

Hey, I said you were right! And you made darn sure I'm looking stuff up for other events before I post them.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby tandfman » Tue Jun 03, 2003 8:58 am

>UK: Robert Weir (great musician, too!)<

The best musician you've named today was da Silva.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:00 am

Now the running events begin. Lining up for the steeplechase are:

Africa: Moses Kiptanui
Americas: Graeme Fell (terrible name for a steeplechaser)
Asia: Takaharu Koyama
Europe: Gaston Roelants
Pacific: Kerry O'Brien
UK: Chris Brasher
USA: Henry Marsh
USSR: Semyon Rzhishchin

And the places:
1) Kiptanui
2) Roelants
3) Marsh
4) Rzhishchin
5) O'Brien
6) Brasher
7) Fell
8) Koyama

Team scores through 5 events:
34 USSR
33 Europe
32 USA
19 Americas
18 Africa
16 UK
15 Asia
14 Pacific
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:18 am

Lining up for the 800 are:

Africa: Mike Boit
Americas: Joaqium Cruz
Asia: Sri Nam Singh
Europe: Wilson Kipketer
Pacific: Peter Snell
UK: Seb Coe
USA: Mal Whitfield
USSR: Yevgeniy Arzhanov

And across the line they come:
1) Snell
2) Whitfield
3) Kipketer
4) Coe
5) Cruz
6) Arzhanov
7) Boit
8) Singh

Team scoring through 6 events:
39 USA
39 Europe
37 USSR
23 Americas
22 Pacific
21 UK
20 Africa
16 Asia

The Yanks take the lead from the Commies, but the European team is putting up a stiff fight.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:32 am

As we put the hurdles on the track, our competitors:

Africa: Samuel Matete
Americas: Felix Sanchez
Asia: Duncan White
Europe: Harald Schmid
Pacific: John Holland
UK: Lord David Burghley
USA: Edwin Moses
USSR: Yuriy Lituyev

The results:
1) Moses
2) Schmid
3) Sanchez
4) Lituyev
5) Burghley
6) Matete
7) Holland
8) White

Team scoring through 7 events:
47 USA
46 Europe
42 USSR
29 Americas
25 UK
24 Pacific
23 Africa
17 Asia
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:47 am

Now the first sprint of the meet, the 200 meters.

Africa: Frankie Fredericks
Americas: Don Quarrie
Asia: Koji Ito
Europe: Pietro Mannea
Pacific: James Carlton
UK: Emmanuel McDonald Bailey
USA: Michael Johnson
USSR: Valeriy Borzov

The results:
1) Johnson
2) Fredericks
3) Quarrie, nearly in a dead heat with
4) Mennea
5) Borzov
6) Carlton
7) Bailey
8) Ito

Team scoring through 8 events:
55 USA
51 Europe
46 USSR
35 Americas
30 Africa
27 Pacific
27 UK
18 Asia
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:05 am

The final event of the first day, the 10 000 meters:

Africa: Haile Gebreselassie
Americas: Arturo Barrios
Asia: Toshihiko Seko
Europe: Emil Zatopek
Pacific: Ron Clarke
UK: Brendan Foster
USA: Billy Mills
USSR: Vladimir Kuts

And the results:
1) Zatopek
2) Gebreselassie
3) Clarke (outkicked again!)
4) Kuts
5) Mills
6) Barrios
7) Foster
8) Seko

Before anyone gets on me about Zatopek vs Gebreselassie, let me say that Zatopek simply stomped his competition. In his four major championship wins (2 OG, 2 EC) his average margin of victory was 40 seconds, each time defeating the year's #2 ranked 10k man.

Team scores at the conclusion of the first day:
59 Europe
59 USA
51 USSR
38 Americas
37 Africa
33 Pacific
29 UK
19 Asia

It's going to be a barn-burner!
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:21 am

Mr.Squire: this is reallllly a great thread. One of the best the board has seen yet. But..... (other shoe dropping).... could you please make each event a different thread? There was a very instructive discourse about the pole vault going on and then it's interrupted by a bunch of other events. Just a thought.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Tue Jun 03, 2003 10:25 am

Will do so tommorrow! Thanks for your input.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 03, 2003 1:04 pm

I like the thread myself..would you take Matete over Akii-Bua?
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 03, 2003 3:53 pm

Coe in 4th place...I can't see it
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby tandfman » Tue Jun 03, 2003 7:27 pm

>Coe in 4th place...I can't see it<

Let me help you see it. 1980 Olympic 800 - Coe 2nd, 1982 European Championships 800 - Coe 2nd, 1984 Olympic 800 - Coe 2nd. To be sure, Kipketer has lost a few big ones. However, he not only broke Coe's record but also won three world championships (plus one indoors), a much better success record in major competition than Coe's. It goes without saying that double Olympic gold medalists Snell and Whitfield outrank Coe, who too often came up short when it counted the most.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby Per Andersen » Tue Jun 03, 2003 9:48 pm

Bear with me Squire,I cant't resist adding a few lines about Charles Hoff since I grew up in that country.
He was without a doubt one of the greatest athletic talents in the world in those days. Since he could not compete in the vault in Paris in '24 due to injury he ran the 800 and finished 8th in the final.
He was also quite a showman and once vaulted 13'2 wearing tailcoat.
In 1931 he even talked Figure Skating great Sonja Henie into coming out for track. Hoff coached her and she ran some good junior 100m on Bislett during that summer.
Meanwhile I can't wait for tomorrows competition.
Does Brumel realize that guys are flopping now?
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:11 am

>I like the thread myself..would you take Matete
>over Akii-Bua?

Um, last night I suddenly realized that I'd completely forgotten about Akii-Bua. Which of the two you pick depends on how much empahsis you put on consistency. Akii-Bua ran a stunning WR in 1972 but never got reasonably close to it again. Both athletes ranked #1 in the world twice, while Matete took the runner-up spot four times to Akii-Bua's one. Matete's record in big championship meets isn't stunning (one gold and two silver) but Akii-Bua only won the '72 OG.

It boils down to this: Akii-Bua wouldn't come to mind as Africa's greatest 400 hurdler if not for a single race. Is that race enough? I don't know how to answer that.
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Wed Jun 04, 2003 4:18 am

>Charles Hoff was without a doubt one of the
>greatest athletic talents in the world in those
>days.

In 1923 he made the world's top 20 list in the 400, 800, pole vault, long jump, and triple jump (and the top 40 list in the 100 meters).
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby dj » Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:20 am

from Clay Parker: Coe in 4th place...I can't see it

He's right! I can't see Coe finishing 4th, either. The British selectors would go for a proven competitor, not a fast time-trialer. They'd select Doug Lowe (OG gold '24 & '28), or even Tommy Hampson (OG '32 gold and WR, CG '30 champ).

Coe was a pussycat when it came to major 800m competiitons. Meow!
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Re: Best from a Nation

Postby jsquire » Wed Jun 04, 2003 6:25 am

>from Clay Parker: Coe in 4th place...I can't see
>it

He's right! I can't see Coe finishing 4th,
>either. The British selectors would go for a
>proven competitor, not a fast time-trialer.
>They'd select Doug Lowe (OG gold '24 & '28), or
>even Tommy Hampson (OG '32 gold and WR, CG '30
>champ).

Yep, I rate both Lowe's and Hampson's careers as better than Coe's. I figured that I'd be crucified for skipping over him, though, considering how much furor was raised by my attitude that Keino's OG gold and silver tops Ryun's OG silver.
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