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NZ fifth best performer at Commonwealth Games

Monday August 4, 2014
NZ fifth best performer at Commonwealth Games

With a haul of 45 medals, New Zealand has outperformed the best predictions of the world’s number crunchers by 440% and beaten our past performance at the Commonwealth Games by 11% per cent, according to a Massey University finance lecturer.

“In the last week New Zealanders have been intensely interested in New Zealand’s relative Comonwealth Games medal performance, especially how have we done comparatively to other countries,” says Dr Naylor. “My calculations show that New Zealand outperformed what we could relatively expect to achieve by over 440%.”

Dr Michael Naylor, from the School of Economics and Finance, has compiled a table of Commonwealth Games medal performance by combining the predictions of the four leading mathematical models used for this purpose.

Between them the models include factors like population, per capita income, and financial support for athletes. Australia, for example, has five times our population and 60% higher income so they would be expected to get roughly eight times as many medals. Yet they only produced three times as many.

The outstanding performer was Samoa, with three medals, despite its miniscule population. Jamaica and Kenya also did well. New Zealand beat the performance of countries like England, Australia and South Africa.

Dr Naylor says he averaged the predictions of the most accurate models used to predict Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals to formulate his table. These were the models of Andrew Bernard from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and Daniel Johnson of Colorado College, along with more recently developed models by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Goldman Sachs.

The four models use a wide range of metrics including population, GDP, performance in prior Games, host country effect and country-specific factors, including impacts from neighbouring countries.

The tables below show the relative performance of countries compared to their average medal haul over the last five Games and their averaged perfomance across the four models mentioned above. The change in the total medals per Games has been adjusted for.


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