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Statistician says Jan Zelezny better than Usain Bolt

Longtime statistician/author Dale Harder of Castro Valley, California, says that the best men’s world record is in the javelin, not the 100 or 200. His take on the subject:

Jan Zelezny’s JT of 323’1 (98.48m) is actually the best mark of all time based on empirical results. No one else has come within 5% of him. Indeed, multiplying his WR x .95 results in 306’11 (93.56m). The javelin throw is the only event to have just one person higher than the 95% level.

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However, to fairly compare most field events with runs (the high jump and pole vault are exceptions which are explained below) you would probably think that you would divide running WRs by .95 to get results to fairly compare with field event marks. But, if you divide 9.58 (Bolt’s 100m WR) by .95 you get 10.08 (rounded off) and roughly 150 men have bettered that mark…..Read More

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Put together by a member of the World-Track and Field Website team members. This is usually done by an in house member with able assistance from someone or an agency reporting from outside.



  1. Andy

    February 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

    This is another case of statistics that seem convincing but which don’t stand up to close scrutiny. The simple fact of the matter is that everyone has run a footrace at some point in their lives. By the time someone decides they are fast enough to take on sprinting as a profession they have already proven themselves directly or indirectly against literally everyone around them. A champion sprinter is therefore at the top of an extremely high pyramid of slower people below them. Very few people on the other hand have ever thrown a javelin. In mathematical terms the difference between the top javelin thrower and the next best may not actually be as large as that for Usain Bolt if the statistician included the larger margin of error in this statistic as result of reduced sample size.

  2. Waynef

    February 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Wait! Not so fast Jan Zeleezny, Statisticians apparantly neglected to factor in the a guy named Nigel Manga, who hit the most amount of golf balls in a 12 hour period, a whopping 7,721, or that Tae Kwon Do guy named Ali Bahçetepe, he has the world record for most amounts of concrete blocks broken in 1 minute. I wonder if Jan Zelezny can top that? Heck I say some 12 years old chinese girls in Beijing that were able to balance their entire body weight on 1 finger, while doing one finger push-ups. I wonder where they rank?

  3. minnie

    February 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    lol wayne they all rank above usain bolt truth be told i didnt even know who the heck is jan zeleezy and im a track enthusiast that spells volumes f the thing is not on the track i dont really care much about it only if the javelin thrower is from the caribbean say cuba or like the decathlete daley thompson from gbr other than that i dont care. bullshit this sounds like the typical case of badmindedness this sounds like that douchebag that said he doesnt know where jamaica is or who usain is for that matter

  4. Stacy

    February 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    No offense but I’m going to say, who cares? I’m sure they didn’t take into consideration how many people tryout and compete for the sprints and how many people tryout and compete for javelin. Are you really the most superior if you are the best at a sport that has fewer competitors? No, you are just the best in your limited discipline.

    I went to a well funded high school, but we didn’t have javelins or pole vaults, so I can imagine worldwide in poverty stricken communities that there isn’t a clammoring demand for javelins. Running is an all inclusive sport. Everyone has, at some time, ran. Tyson Gay got into track by trying to beat his sister to the bus stop. Usain’s achievement is arguably better because he’s competing in an event which everyone has done. Doesn’t that make him the best?

    But even if this statistician doesn’t agree with that, I’ll say again, who cares? I don’t see Chris Johnson or any other NFL athlete saying, “hey I can throw a ball a long distance, I want to compete against the best javelin throwers and get that title”. When it comes to worldwide appeal, the glory will always go to person who holds the title of “World’s Fastest Man”. Nobody is going to sell newspapers or pack event seats with headlines proclaiming “World’s Best Javelin Thrower”. So who cares what this guy wants to claim.

  5. tony roots

    February 16, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    lets face it, ever since the name Usain Bolt became household…he had become, the Topic…the Subject and the Project of the world….people are working overtime…trying to find out how his twitch muscle work so fast….how someone with his height possesses this convicted abelity…the one that his many rivals are so desperately pursuing…BUT WILL NEVER ATAINED….it,s sad thou how these people are trying there very best to find someone…it doesn,t even matter to them the discipline or the area of the sports that there trying to compare to his….as long as they can succeed in getting the name King Usain Bolt out of the lime light…remember in the movie malcolm x when one of the character said..that’s too much power for one man….maybe that’s what there thinking now.

  6. Stacy

    February 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Roots lets face…it’s more than that. The problem is that he is the fastest man of all time, and he’s not American. It’s too much power for a non-American to have.

    This Czezch’s WR occurred in 1996. Is there some reason this comparison was not made at that time when Americans held the sprint WRs? If they had, they might have undermined their own athletes. Instead they proclaimed Michael Johnsons WR of that same year, the greatest feat ever and unbreakable. Or perhaps they just thought that comparing a WR in javelin to a WR in sprints really stupid, until now.

  7. Michael Owens

    February 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I hate when this happens. Every time someone does something that is great everyone wants to see if this person is better or that person is better or if how something else compares to it and then when they do try to see if they are better they end up dropping out of the race or whatever and then just looking goofy. I mean these are to different events and require different skills from each other. Please leave the javeline throwers to their events and the sprinters to their events. Sorry for this long rant. Lol

  8. BunnyG

    February 16, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    I have a lot of respect for statisticians, I do. But they are one digit away from being crazy. And Mr Harder is from California, USA, the dope capitol of the world.

  9. walter fitzpatrick

    February 17, 2010 at 3:35 am

    money can buy lots of things, but it cant buy god given talent. long live usain the magnificent., he has given us people from the caribbean respect and recognition. you see micheal johnson didnt believe his 200 metres would be broken, i heard him say that, then he changed his tune. i heard him say not to long ago that bolt is the fastest man alive which we all know, then he said there might be someone else in the jungle out there who might be faster. he said it jokingly but i didnt like his choice of words if you get my drift. i think this is our time , i see a changing of the guards, jamaica in particular is coming up with a flurry of great sprinters , guys like yohan blake and new kid on the block dexter lee, plus trinidad had jehue gordon , rennie quow, josanne lucas, grenada kirani james, barbados ryan braithwaite and i am sure more are waiting to bust out. what can the u.s. do to stop this? i assure you they are not taking it good, this time they must come clean or dont come at all..finally i must mention a great sprinter that came from jamaica, his name was herb mckinley, he ran the 100,metres, the 200 metres and the 400 metres and was world class in all three, if you want to compare then compare him to usain bolt ,not this javelin thrower.

  10. PC

    February 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Did you all notice that since RADA has caught up with the drug cheats how the Field Events have had little or no new world records? Remember how at almost every major meet records were broken at regular intervals? Maybe RADA should go check back past samples of some of these field events record holders. On;y the we should begin to even think of comparing apples and oranges!

  11. tony roots

    February 19, 2010 at 6:01 am

    yes PC, your so right….RADA spooked the crap out of them….and yes they should go back and check past samples….samples of the eighties would be most interesting….hell, they could even” EXHUME BODDIES” lol!

  12. waynef

    February 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Hey Stacy you have a great point. I remember 1996 very well. It was the year when Donavan Bailey had won the 100m olympic final. America finished 5th. and 6th. in that race. they could not accept that so they began to bill and market Michael Johnson as the world’s fastest man. even though donavan Bailey had just won the 100m finals in world record style. 2 months later Donavan Bailey was challenged to a two man duel over 150m distance at skydome in toronto. we all know how that ended. a not sdo gracious in defeat Johnson grabbed his hamstring and pulled up “injured” as soon as he saw Bailey fly past him just 30m into the race. We heard very little of that injury afterwards and heard nothing more about Michael Johnson being world fastes man. after all that talk about michaels world records being so great, I expected a better showing from him over 150 meters. I still think the current 100m record is the greatest record out there for 2 reasons. 1. sprinting is probably the purest form of sport there is, nearly everyone in the world has run at some point or another, not everyone can swim, not everyone can throw a javelin. 2. sprinting has to be the oldest sport in human history, and bolt is better than anyone in history.

  13. minnie

    February 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    lol i remember that shit like yesterday

  14. ANGELA

    February 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Look what they were trying to do in Beijing. Torrie Edwards flinch and run dead last and the barefacedness of it they wanted a re-run of the race because none of their athlete were placed. these people are shameless and arrogant, and yes i too remember the saga with J

  15. ANGELA

    February 19, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Look what they were trying to do in Beijing. Torrie Edwards flinch and run dead last and the barefacedness of it they wanted a re-run of the race because none of their athlete were placed these people are shameless and arrogant, and yes who could forget Michael masquerading his hamstring because he was so beaten by Donovan Bailey. It’s just plain bitterness with these people they have to be on top even if they have to cheat to accomplish their goals. Nobody should be surprize at what this Jan Zelezny comes up with who cares the world record is being held by a man outside the great U-S-A it’s time to belittle his incredible achievement. Bottom line is, if Tyson Gay had the record we would not be reading this crap! they have lost their position as world best sprinters it hurts like hell. HUSH U-S-A ‘ we’ve only just begun’. SORRY ABOUT THE PREVIOUS POST IT WAS UNFINISHED.

  16. ANGELA

    February 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Another error on my part. Jan Zelezny is the guy the statistician are claiming that his world record is better than Usain’s. I mis-read. Sorry that’s what happens when you have to study all night oh boy!

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