03/11/2019   Evolution of the average speed of the first 10 athletes in 50km men: "Area vs World"

Also this year we wanted to enrich our area dedicated to statistics by providing our readers with an additional tool for analyzing the individual specialties of the march.

We wanted to call it with a name similar to one quite fashionable in recent years in the financial markets: "negative spread".
We remember the criteria of the data selection
- For each specialty of race walk we have first of all chosen the best ten performances in the world as they appear in the official lists of the IAAF
- We have not taken into consideration the Areas that did not have a sufficient number (at least five) of performances during the whole five-year period
- We have limited our choice to the last five years starting from 2015 up to and including 2019
- We have analyzed for now only the 50km men, a specialty that we considered the most interesting for the differences it can offer and for the debate that is taking place on it. In the coming days we will do the same for the 20km men and for the 20km women.
As for the 50km women we expect to have a significant data set of at least four or five years.
- The average speed (in every single Olympic distance) of these ten best performances worldwide is the reference mark for every single year
- We then analyzed for each single Area the ten best performances (or less if there are not ten, but at least five) obtaining for each Area the relative average speed. The difference in terms of km/h between that obtained by analyzing the data of the first athletes in the world and those of the top ten athletes in each area is what we have called "negative spread".
At world level we recorded in 2015 an average speed of the top 10 walkers in the world on the 50km was equal to 13,98 km/hr.
This speed (reached and exceeded in the five-year period only in 2017) is certainly influenced by the impressive performances obtained in 2015 in Dudince (SVK) by Matej Toth (3:34:38)
In the same year 2015 at Asia level the average speed of the top 10 walkers in that area was 13.32 km/hr.
Three athletes from Japan Hirooki Arai (3:40:20), Takayuki Tanii (3:42:01) and Yuki Yamazaki (3:43:40) and two from China: Zhang Lin (3:44:39) and Yu Wei (3:45:21) particularly contributed to his achievement.
The 2015 Asia-World "negative spread" was -0.66 km/hr.
Another example
During 2019 the average speed of the top 10 walkers in the world on the 50km was 13,64 km/hr, while in 2015 it was 13,98 km/hr.
In Asia, compared to the 13,32 km/hr of 2015, in 2019 an average speed of the first 10 walkers of that area was recorded, equal to 13,60 km/hr.
The "negative spread 2019" Asia-World is equal to -0.04 km/hr.
In fact in the first 10 world performers of 2019 only two are from Europe.
But there is another interesting consideration to make.
And it is expressed exemplifying in the following table always referring to Asia-World:

50km men - average speed 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
World average speed 14,11 13,98 13,77 14,07 13,39 13,64
Asia average speed 13,21 13,32 13,38 13,19 13,25 13,60
Negative spread -0,90 -0,66 -0,39 -0,28 -0,14 -0,04



It is all too clear how much the gap between Asia and World is being reduced as a consequence of two factors:
- the decline in European performances that in 2014, 2018 and 2019 were particularly influenced by the performances of Yohann Diniz
- the growth, begun in 2017 and continued in 2018 and 2019, of the battleship Japan.
On the other hand, it was to be expected since the number of athletes in the following table is in the world between 2014 and 2018:



50km: How many athletes from

Asia and Europe in first 10 in World

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Asia (China) - - 3 - 1 4
Asia (Japan) 4 4 2 3 6 4
Europe 4 4 2 7 3 2




We leave to our readers in the following link the consulation of the graph and of the complete table of average speeds in the five-year period and the considerations that they wanted to do.

We summarize them as follows:
- Asia on the shields
- Europe survives through ups and downs
- The NACAC grows in the last season above all thanks to the Central Americans
- The decline of Oceania and South America (CONSUDATLE) continues from 2017 onwards.

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