Human Development Index and the frequency of nations in Athletics World Rankings
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The influence of socioeconomic factors in the achievement of sport success is still a matter of debate. Due to the popularity and low-cost practice, analyses of the Athletics World Ranking (AWR) may provide valuable information. Therefore, we investigated the frequency of different socioeconomic status in the AWR for two events (100 m and 10 k) in three categories: Junior, Elite Professionals and Masters.
Data of 5,011 athletes from 99 nationalities were obtained from the official websites of International Association of Athletics Federations, and World Masters Rankings in the years of 2006–2016. The Human Development Index (HDI) for each nationality was used as a marker of socioeconomic status.
An HDI × age group association was observed (χ2 = 0.001, p = 0.001, φC = 0.322), where the analysis of frequency rate demonstrated a high prevalence of very elevated and elevated HDI in the AWR for the 100 m. For the endurance 10 k race analysis, the HDI × age group association was also observed, with a high prevalence of moderate and low HDI in Junior and Professionals. Regarding the Masters, the prevalence of moderate and low HDI is almost zero. In addition, multiple linear regressions indicate that the HDI, gross domestic product per capita (GDP/capita) and population can predict the frequency of a country in athletics ranking.
There is a high prevalence of elevated and very elevated HDI nationalities in the AWR in sprint races in all age groups. For endurance races, Junior and Professionals had a great prevalence of low/moderate HDI, and Masters are dominated by very elevated HDI. A nation’s frequency in the World Masters Ranking could be indicative of HDI, since an association was found among them.
KeywordsSociology Aging Performance Policy
The authors are thankful to World Masters Rankings and Mr. John Seto (main organizer), as well as the International Athletics Federation (IAAF), the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES - financial code 001), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAP/DF).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.
Human and animal rights
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 2012 Helsinki declaration.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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