Sun 15 June 2014
Let's take a look at how the athletes fared in this year's regional contests. Overall, the regional standard of performance is now incredibly high; for example, the median hang snatch loads were 230 pounds for men and 145 pounds for women. When the snatch was contested at the Games in 2009, exactly one male and one female bested those respective marks. And that was from the ground, not the hang.
The distributions of each of the seven events are shown below, for both men and women. Tip of the hat to Sam Swift, who did a great post on the 2014 Open results. Note that the Africa, Asia, and Latin America regions are not included in any of these results.
Event 1 — Hang Snatch
Incredible. A 245 snatch used to be a big deal. Now nearly 35% of the men's field has a 245 hang snatch, and over 20% are 255+. And more than 15% of the women's field put up 165 or more.
I used a 5-pound bin width here, even though it makes the graph look a little weird, because it lets you see exactly what they lifted since the smallest allowed increment was five pounds. There's a pretty clear preference for the more familiar weights, the ones that end in 5. To me, that looks like a psychological artifact, one that could be exploited by competitors.
The four males and the thirteen females that did not record a weight are clipped out of this graph. Next year!
Event 2 — Handstand Walk
To understand the strange shape of this distribution, just remember that the athletes could stop and rest for as long as they liked when they reached the end of the 120-foot lane. So, for example, you don't see many people fall in the 120-150 range, and you see pileups as they near the end of the lane.
It's interesting that the men's distribution kind of slopes up from 30 to 120 feet, while the women's mostly slopes down over that range. Maybe that's men being able to go a little farther on brute shoulder strength when their technique isn't great?
Event 3 — Nasty Girls 2.0
NGv2 was a boatload of pistols, some muscle-ups, and a moderate power clean. It's more or less a textbook bell-curve on the men's side, with median time about ten minutes. It gave the women's field more trouble, because of the muscle-ups. When you unpack that tall blue histogram bar just to the right of the time cap, it's almost all from women with 12-18 reps left: that last round of muscle-ups.
Event 4 — Strict HSPU-Front Squat-Burpee 21/15/9/6/3
Strict handstand pushups, heavyish front squats, and bar-over burpees. Yeah. We've got peculiarly flat distributions among the finishers, and then quite a few people that didn't make the time cap (19% of the men, 44% of the women). What struck me about this was how far out folks were from finishing; there were plenty of people in the rounds of 15 and 9, if you refer to those dotted gray lines. It does make a cruel kind of sense — when those shoulders go, they're gone.
Event 5 — Legless
This would be the event with the starkest difference between the men's and the women's fields. This also makes sense, thinking about morphology, and given what we saw at the legless event in the Games last year.
Event 6 — Chipper
There was just a handful of people that finished this test, so the axis on this graph is a little misleading. Your score is the time cap, 21 minutes, plus however many reps you had left, in seconds. So if you had twenty calories to go on the rower, you'd get a 21:21. (The extra one is for the transition from the rower to the finish pad.) The movements were all in sets of fifty, so it turns out to be pretty easy to read as an AMRAP.
Most of the men got back to the box jumps, with about an equal number finishing on the rower as on the DLs. The women are a bit more spread out across the trip back from the ring dips.
Event 7 — Pullups/OHS
This event's distribution is similar to that of event four: pretty flat for the finishers, with a lot of non-finishers. There's a bit of a shelf from two to three minutes for the elite males; that's finishing the pullups in just over a minute and then going unbroken for the 8 overhead squats at 205.
I dug into the non-finishers, and confirmed that every single competitor finished the 64 pullups, and was stuck somewhere on the overhead squats. That's at least some indication that nobody who was super unqualified cheated to get in.Tags: regionals2014