ATHLETE performances at the 2022 Commonwealth Games have been collated and analysed by Team Jersey officials as part of a new initiative which could affect selection for future events.
The Commonwealth Games Association of Jersey has compiled a list of all Caesarean displays since the Brisbane Games of 1982, with statistics, including ‘percentage off gold’, being applied to help rank those results.
For many in action in Birmingham last week, they make for favourable reading.
‘For the last two Games we’ve tried to build up our performance indicators for each sport to help everyone understand what the Games means and what the standard of competition is,’ CGAJ president Paul du Feu explained.
‘A long time ago we made a decision over what was a respectable performance for a Jersey athlete and we felt that the top half of the field was a good target. But that doesn’t work brilliantly now, because the field sizes have changed so much – particularly in this Games, where we had a field of 54 in one swimming event and a bike race with almost 150 riders. You can be halfway but still perhaps not at the standard Jersey might want, because more countries are coming in at the bottom end.
‘The second way we now look at it is “percentage off gold”. In some events it doesn’t work; like long-distance track events in athletics, where the result is dependent on how the race is run, but in others like swimming it’s easy, because it’s indoors and the conditions are controlled. But even so we have tried to come up with historic stats for each sport so we can make direct comparisons and ask whether we have to change our qualification standards.’
Swimmer Harry Shalamon’s semi-final performance in the men’s 100m backstroke – enough for 15th overall – is ranked the fourth best by any Caesarean swimmer since 1982, while Gemma Atherley’s display in the women’s 200m backstroke final is the best performance by a female and the fifth strongest overall. Both were within 5% of the gold medallist’s title-winning time.
Elsewhere, Zach Saunders’ new 200m personal best has been graded inside the top four track-and-field performance over the last 40 years, with his time of 21.35s standing 7.3% off the eventual Games-record winning time in the final, while gymnast Daniel Lee, mountain biker Rhys Hidrio and triathlete Ollie Turner all top their respective charts.
Lee’s score in the men’s all-around final, for sixth, is Jersey’s best on record for his sport [4.8% off gold] and Turner – 15th in the men’s sprint final – was just 4.3% off champion Alex Yee.
Hidrio, who claimed 28th in a road race that featured over 120 riders on Sunday, finished the men’s mountain bike final in tenth earlier in the week – 7.6% off the winner.
Du Feu said: ‘This hasn’t been done before and the downside could be that we end up with a smaller team. [But] without being too relaxed, I feel we’re on the right path.’
Summing up his Birmingham 2022 experience, he added: ‘The whole ambiance of the Games, with volunteers who give up their time for free … the two most important words are “thank you”. They are the key to the Games. They all feel lucky and privileged to be there but don’t mix that up with a lot of hard work and pain. The two go together.’