New Zealand races up alternative medal tables
New Zealand's gold medal rowers have pushed the country to the top of the population-based Olympic medal ranking table, and Australia's not too happy about it.
Victory in the rowing pairs and single events overnight, along with a cycling bronze for the men's pursuit team, took the Kiwi medal tally to three gold and three bronze medals.
In contrast to the joy in this country at the performance of our athletes, many Australians are glumly contemplating their meagre - for them - haul of one gold, nine silver and four bronze.
So deep is the despair that official free-to-air Australian Olympic broadcaster Channel 9 avoided showing New Zealand's charge up the medal table, which took this country to tenth at one stage before settling at 12th by the end of the day.
Its medal table had only the nine top countries, then a gap down to Australia. And some pundits have suggested pooling the wins for Team Oceania, to save Aussie red faces.
Sydney Morning Herald sports journalist Brad Walter was unimpressed.
"Can't believe Channel 9 only showed top 9 in medal tally plus Australia, then admitted we didn't want to be reminded NZ were 10th," he tweeted.
"Ch9 should be showing NZ gold, not pretending it didn't happen."
On the traditional table - ranked by gold medals, then silver, then bronze - New Zealand ended the latest day's competition just behind South Africa, while Australia ended in 19th place.
The US is leading with 21 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze, while China is second with 20 gold, 13 silver and nine bronze.
According to an alternative ranking system, New Zealand is first when calculated on a population basis, 11th when the table is based on GDP, and 22nd when based on team size.
The alternative tables are a co-production of the Royal Statistical Society, statisticians from Imperial College in London, and The Guardian's Datablog section.
Apparently these guys did not want to make anything too easy, so they say they have worked out how many medals each country would have won based on a weighted count.
Using that approach, when the medal count is population based, New Zealand would have won 21 gold medals by now and 12.6 bronze for a total medal haul of 33.6, while Slovenia would be second with 14.9 gold and 17.9 bronze for a total of 32.8.
Australia would have 1.4 gold, 13.6 silver and 3.3 bronze, and China would have 0.5 gold, 0.3 silver, and 0.1 bronze, while the US would be on 2.1 gold, 1.1 silver and 0.7 bronze.
When based on GDP, Mongolia would be top with 42.5 silver and 22.9 bronze, followed by North Korea with 27.6 gold - the top gold medal count - and 4.9 bronze.
New Zealand would have 5.8 gold and 4.2 bronze, Australia would have 0.2 gold, 2.4 silver and 0.6 bronze, China would have 0.8 gold, 0.7 silver and 0.2 bronze, while the US would be on 0.4 gold, 0.2 silver and 0.2 bronze.
Statistics New Zealand is working out medals per head of population using a simpler approach, working out the number of medals per million people.
But as it is only updating its tables on working days, the overnight New Zealand wins haven't been added.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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