Just a quick follow up on the disproportionate strength of the Scots in the rankings. In no event is the strength more evident than in the flying 200m. Eight of the top 20 cyclists are Scots, or at least have chosen to represent Scotland, while half of the best 20 performances ever belong to Scots. Of course, the latter stats is largely due to Mr. Hoy, but it’s an impressive showing by the Scots nonetheless.
Just off the list, there are another five Scots who have gone below 10.75, and according to my rankings placed in the top 30 Brits all-time. It’s hard to say why Scotland should have produced quite so many top sprinters, though clearly the long-time presence of the Meadowbank track has helped some. With the new velodrome in Glasgow, that local track advantage ought to continue for years to come.
One other theory is that the Scots are just naturally fast! That might sound absurd, but if you look at other sports, Scots have traditionally done well in explosive sprint events. Think of Olympic champions Alan Wells and Eric Liddell in athletics or Olympic medalist Bobby McGregor and former world record holder Jack Wardrop among swimmers. If anyone has any other theories, we’d be happy to hear them.