Olympic bumps and slumps

There will be much written about GB’s quadrennial boost that seems to occur with each Olympics. It’s certainly a phenomena like few others and I’m sure there will be accusations in some quarters.

More likely than anything nefarious, however, is that it is simply a matter of economics. The Brits have the most money by far and they spend it most lavishly at Olympic time given that their funding is predicated on success at the big show.

But perhaps more remarkable is that other countries don’t seem to peak at the Games, and in many cases go backwards.

In the men’s sprint for example, 16 riders went sub-10 in qualifying, compared with 18 at the World Champs in London. A number of the top contenders did manage a slight improvement in times (it seems likely that conditions in Rio are a touch faster than in London) while several dropped off. But only the two Brits showed true improvement, and in the Olympic games, if you can deliver your best when it matters most, you are likely on your way to the podium.

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