[THREAD: RACE DIFFERENCES IN OLYMPICS TRACK AND FIELD]

1/ Track and field is now underway at the Olympics — a quadrennial reminder that Biological Race Does Not Exist, and that those massively disproportionate racial differences in performance amount to “nothing to see here.”
2/ OK, now that I have muttered the Polite Lie, let me break this down for you: As always, athletes of West African descent will dominate the sprints (especially the 100) and athletes of East African descent will dominate the long-distances (especially the marathon and 10,000).
3/ The racial differences in performance are stark for both males and females, but they are slightly less stark for females. (Rarely, a non-doping non-African-ancestry female will be able to grab a not-gold medal in the sprints or long-distances.)
4/ What about the other running events? At the middle distances (800 and 1500 meters), persons of non-African ancestry are more competitive. The African advantage reflects their genetic diversity: The West Africans in the shortest distances, the East Africans in the longest.
5/ In the field, as always, we'll see paler complexion on the podium in the “strength” events (shotput, discus, and hammer) and the pole vault, and, as is typical, darker complexion on the podium in the male long and triple jump events.
6/ OK, now here's where I remind you that all but one of the top 84 marathon runners of all time descended from a very specific area in East Africa with less than 2% of the world's population.
7/ And also that only sprinters of West African descent have appeared in the Olympics 100 meters finals since 1980, and that all but four of the 110 fastest men in the history in the event have descended from a part of the world with about 5% of its population.
8/ But all of this of course is purely coincidental because, as I'm sure you already know, race is a social construct that has no biological reality whatsoever.
9/ By the way, the hugely disproportional group performance results in the sprints and long-distances actually dramatically UNDERREPRESENT the true dominance of runners of East and West African descent.

This is because each country is only allowed three athletes in each event.
10/ If each event permitted, say, only the top 32 athletes in the world to compete, regardless of nationality, there would have been some Olympics in which EVERY athlete in the 100 meters, for example, would have been of West African ancestry.
11/ Having said all this, you might be interested to know that in this particular Olympics, there's more non-black talent in the male sprints than usual. It's still very unlikely that you'll see an Asian or white male in the 100 meters finals, but not impossible.
12/ For example, the Japanese team has two ethnic Japanese sprinters with sub-10 second 100 meters times, and a third with a 10.0. And they have a biracial (Japanese/African) sprinter who has gone under 10 seconds.
13/ A medal in the 4 X 100 sprint relay is a real possibility for the Japanese. (The Japanese actually lucked into a bronze at the last Olympics thanks to other teams either botching their baton exchanges [which the Japanese — predictably — never do] or getting disqualified.)
14/ So, suddenly the Japanese have their most sprint talent ever, right in time for the Olympics on their home soil. Sounds suspicious, doesn't it? Sounds like they might be doping, right?

Possibly, but the Japanese have always been decent sprinters.
15/ Now add a young Italian sprinter (Filipo Tortu) and a Chinese veteran (Su Bingtian), and there exists a *tiny* possibility that a non-African-descent athlete could make the 100 finals for the first time since 1980. (But there's zero possibility of any winning a medal).
16/ Oh, and on the female side, we have the first female American sprinter of European descent to make the US 100 meters squad since the 1960s (Jenna Prandini). (Prandini finished fourth at the trials, but got bumped up to the 100 squad after Sha'Carri Richardson got banned.)
17/ It's unlikely that Prandini will make the 100 meters finals, but it's quite possible she might make it into the 200 finals. If she medals in the 200, she would be the first white American to medal in a sprint event since 1960. (I don't consider the 400 to be a sprint event.)
18/ Now let's talk about that one European-ancestry runner who will not only be competitive, but will likely win a gold medal — the Norwegian Karsten Warholm, the world record-holder in the 400 meters hurdles.

(Start video at 2:30.)

19/ The 400 hurdles is a unique event in track because it's not just about speed, but also about technique and stamina (it might be the most brutal event in the entire sport). Which might be why you occasionally see a non-black athlete performing at a world-class level.
20/ Warholm might be the biggest European-ancestry running talent in several decades. But he could still get beaten because he'll be facing the third-fastest man in the event's history — the American Rai Benjamin.
21/ I'll mention one other white guy that stands a very good chance of medaling, and that's the 20-year old Norwegian 1,500 and 5,000 meter sensation Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who may become the best white mid-to-long distance runner in over 40 years.
22/ Finally, just how good are the East Africans in the long-distance events this year? They're off-the-charts good, destroying records left and right for the last year or two in the marathon, 10000, and 5000, both men and women. They're in a class of their own.

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