Statistical assessment of performance of Malaysian track and field athletes

Robert J. Ballard, Jad Adrian Washif, Andre C. Richards


The purpose of this study was to assess the foundation depth of track and field events and objectively identify if there had been a significant advancement of performance in athletics at a foundation level. Data was taken from all 45 athletics events (23 male, 22 female) over the last seven biannual National Games from 2002 to 2014. The performances for the top five finalists across each event were analyzed. A correlation co-efficient was calculated to assess the strength of linear performance relationship over time. T-tests were performed to assess mean differences across high prospect events versus major international benchmarks. Using r = 0.70 as a high correlation, only five events (men’s 400 m, 400 m hurdles, high jump, and both men’s and women’s hammer throw) out of 41 individual events demonstrated strong positive linear relationships over the assessment period. Only men’s high jump and women’s hammer throw had a non-significant difference (p = > 0.05) when compared with the means performance measure at the two Southeast Asian Games, indicating the events’ degree of capacity to compete at an international level. In comparison to higher level competitions, men’s high jump and women’s hammer throw also demonstrated fragility. The performance gap between the National Games and comparable international event was very large, ranging from 5.3 to 71.0%. Overall, there appears to be a trivial or stagnant trend for many athletics events, which has been unable to create a foundation needed for developing consistent elite performance. Taking into account this data, consideration of the development of new intervention action plans within the overall strategy should be determined and implemented.


Athlete development, athletics statistics, sports investment, performance analysis

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