Tail Modeling, Track and Field Records, and Bolt's Effect
In recent years predictions of athletic records have acquired a special significance in the scientific community. This article presents a method for calculation of probabilities of future records through modeling the tail of the distribution for performance measures. It utilizes an estimation method based on ideas from classical extreme-value theory that avoids difficulties associated with the maximum likelihood estimation. To improve the predictions, whenever possible, it utilizes information such as the survival time of the latest record and the time interval between the last two records. The article also presents alternative prediction methods based on order statistics and the theory of records, and includes a method for prediction of ultimate records. Application of tail modeling to men's long jump produces reasonable results. For long jump the last two records 8.95 meters and 8.90 meters are significantly greater than the third best record, 8.35 meters, which indicates a medium or long tail model. Data for 100 and 200 meter runs exhibit a similar characteristic as the present records for these events, 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds respectively, are significantly lower than the previous records. Application to the men's 100 meter data for the period starting January 1, 1977, when IAAF required fully automatic timing, to September 1, 2009 shows that the probabilities of setting a new record such as 9.55 seconds or less or 9.5 seconds or less are respectively:A. 0.0102 and 0.0052, when Bolt's three records are included.B. 0.0043 and 0.0023, when Bolt's three records are excluded.Also, excluding Bolt's records the probability of setting a record of 9.58 seconds or less by other runners is only 0.0064. Application of the method to Bolt's individual performance prior to the 2008 Olympics reveals the following:A. For him, the probability of running the 200 meter in the 19.30 seconds or less was only 0.00257, indicating that his Olympic record, 19.30 seconds, was completely unexpected.B. The probability of breaking his own best record, 19.75 seconds, was only 0.0738, indicating that his Olympic performance was exceptional.Also, application of the method to his individual performance including his 2008 Olympic record reveals that his new record 19.19 seconds was even more astonishing.Application of the method for estimation of ultimate record produces the following 90% prediction intervals:A. (9.40, 9.58) when Bolt's three records are included,B. (9.62, 9.71) when Bolt's three records are excluded.Note that Bolt's last record 9.58, falls outside the interval B. This demonstrates that Bolt is in a different league.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.degruyter.com |
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jqas|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:jqsprt:v:6:y:2010:i:3:n:9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Golla)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.