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COSTAS standings, week one

Posted by Andrew Mooney  August 5, 2012 07:03 AM

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As promised, here are the COSTAS standings for the first week of Olympic competition. To learn more about how COSTAS is calculated and what it intends to measure, read my original post here. Medal figures are current as of Saturday afternoon’s competition.

First, we have the medal standings as traditionally recorded:

costaswk1.1.png

Now here are those same standings, revisualized by COSTAS:

costaswk1.2.png

Like in 2008, China has opened up a giant lead over the rest of the field. Though they do not have a substantial advantage in gold medals, the Chinese have swept entire sports, like badminton, table tennis, and diving. The vast majority of the U.S.’s medal haul to this point has come in swimming (14 golds, eight silvers, and six bronzes), so our COSTAS total is discounted due to the large number of swimming events. The U.S. is actually far closer to third-place South Korea, which won big in archery and fencing, than to our red rivals.

An American comeback is certainly within the realm of possibility, however, given the upcoming opportunities the U.S. will have to follow China’s example and dominate in sports in which not many medals are available. The U.S. is heavily favored to take gold in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and women’s soccer, and have looked dangerous in both men’s and women’s water polo. Medals in any of these would be rewarded heavily by COSTAS. There are also many individual gymnastics events still to come, which promise even more American gold.

But the U.S. may need all that and more to catch China, whose medal score is already a time and a half greater than the Americans’. Though we’ve just nosed into the lead according to the official standings, there’s a long way to go to match the supremacy in multiple disciplines enjoyed by the Chinese.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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Stats Driven is powered by David Sabino, who over the last two decades has been a source of statistical analysis on the pages of Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and Chicago Tribune. David has written about all seven recent Boston-area championships for Sports Illustrated Presents commemorative issues, was the creator of such long time features as SI’s Player Value Ranking, NBA Player Rating and long running fantasy football and baseball columns.

He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrated’s 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.

Now living in Marblehead, he’s focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.

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