Scoring the 2016 Olympic Games: Americans Dominated On Both Sides

Now that the craziness of last week has come and gone, we thought we would take a step back and analyze each country’s performance at the Olympic Games through a point scoring system, as if it was a normal meet in the United States such as NCAAs.

The meet has been scored in the same format as NCAAs, with an individual win getting 20 points, second place getting 17, all the way down to 11 for 8th place. 9th place receives 9 points, 10th receives 7, and then it goes all the way down to 16th with 1 point.

It goes the same as relays, with double the points being awarded just like at NCAAs.

Any ties results in the swimmers (or relays) splitting the sum of the points that would have been awarded to each if they finished one after the other. Here’s an example: Penny Oleksiak and Simone Manuel tied for 1st in the women’s 100 free, which normally earns 20 points. Second place earns 17 points, so the two of them each get 18.5 points, which adds to a total of 37 points, the same sum that 20 and 17 would give.

Disqualified swimmers/teams obviously earn zero points, even if it happens in a final or semi-final. If a person gets disqualified in a final, the 9th person does not move up to 8th and the points that come with it. They still finish 9th with 9 points.

There were three disqualifications, all on the men’s side, where relay teams got DQed because they didn’t use all of their relay-only swimmers in the prelims. They all failed to advance to the final, so they didn’t have the chance to use those swimmers at night, but they still got disqualified so they lose all of the points they would have gotten.

Unlike a meet such as NCAAs, there were only 16 relay teams entered in each event. Though it may seem nonsensical to hand out a few points to a team that finishes last in a relay, all of the teams had to qualify just to field a team in each Olympic relay. So, all teams receive a minimum of 2 points for relays, other than those disqualified.

Here’s a look at the team standings among the women’s events, broken down by individual points, relay points and total points:

WOMEN’S POINTS BREAKDOWN

Rank

Country

Individual Points

Relay Points

Total Points

1

United States

353.5

114

467.5

2

Australia

245.5

108

353.5

3

Canada

185

92

277

4

China

170.5

78

248.5

5

Great Britain

138

42

180

6

Japan

116.5

58

174.5

7

Hungary

133

26

159

8

Sweden

80

74

154

9

Russia

87

64

151

10

Denmark

104

42

146

11

Italy

18

56

74

11

Spain

64

10

74

13

Netherlands

29

36

65

14

France

24

38

62

15

Germany

38

20

58

16

Brazil

23

32

55

17

Iceland

33

0

33

18

Belarus

20

0

20

19

Zimbabwe

19

0

19

20

South Korea

16

0

16

21

Finland

3

12

15

T-22

Bahamas

13

0

13

T-22

New Zealand

13

0

13

T-24

Lithuania

12

0

12

T-24

Turkey

12

0

12

T-26

Jamaica

11

0

11

T-26

Switzerland

5

6

11

28

Slovenia

6

4

10

T-29

Hong Kong

3

6

9

T-29

Vietnam

9

0

9

31

Ukraine

8

0

8

T-32

Croatia

6

0

6

T-32

Venezuela

6

0

6

34

Egypt

5

0

5

35

Poland

0

4

4

36

Czech Republic

3

0

3

T-37

Belgium

2

0

2

T-37

Israel

0

2

2

As you can see, the United States dominated individually. They amassed an incredible 353.5 points not including relays, which is actually the exact same amount the #2 team, Australia, got in total including relays.

Australia was the only other team to crack 200 points individually, totalling 245.5. Canada had the third highest with 185, and China, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan and Denmark also cracked 100 individual points.

In the relays, the U.S. and Australia were fairly even, with the United States winning two and finishing 2nd in one, while Australia won one and finished 2nd in the other two. That gave them 114 and 108 relay points respectively, furthering their lead over the field.

Canada had the third highest with 92, which included a pair of bronze medals, while China, Sweden, and Russia also put up impressive totals.

In total the U.S. was 114 points ahead of Australia, a much bigger gap than was anticipated prior to the Games. Canada was a solid third thanks to the breakout meet of Penny Oleksiak, while China, Great Britain and Japan came 4th, 5th and 6th.

Finishing 7th and 8th, Hungary and Sweden got all they could from superstars Katinka Hosszu and Sarah Sjostrom. Sjostrom didn’t have enough individual support to push the Swedes any further, while Hungary qualifying in only one out of three relays hurt them.

Here’s the men’s standings broken down the same way as the women’s:

MEN’S POINTS BREAKDOWN

Rank

Country

Individual Points

Relay Points

Total Points

1

United States

398

120

518

2

Australia

201

94

295

3

Japan

181

82

263

4

Great Britain

155

68

223

5

Russia

123

88

211

6

Brazil

86.5

60

146.5

7

China

144

0

144

8

Germany

80

62

142

9

France

70

56

126

10

Italy

75

48

123

11

South Africa

96.5

22

118.5

12

Belgium

31

48

79

13

Canada

50.5

26

76.5

14

Hungary

57

18

75

15

Netherlands

12.5

24

36.5

T-16

Poland

14

20

34

T-16

Spain

14

20

34

18

Kazakhstan

31

0

31

19

Singapore

30

0

30

20

Greece

10

18

28

21

Lithuania

18

6

24

22

Denmark

13

10

23

23

Romania

14

6

20

24

Ukraine

16

0

16

25

Sweden

12

0

12

26

Norway

11

0

11

27

New Zealand

10

0

10

28

Slovakia

9

0

9

T-29

Portugal

8

0

8

T-29

Switzerland

8

0

8

T-31

Egypt

7

0

7

T-31

Serbia

7

0

7

T-31

South Korea

7

0

7

34

Czech Republic

5

0

5

T-35

Colombia

3

0

3

T-35

Venezuela

3

0

3

37

Israel

2

0

2

T-38

Finland

1

0

1

T-38

Ireland

1

0

1

The American women may have dominated, but the American men did even better. They nearly doubled #2 Australia in individual points, and more than doubled them in total points with an incredible 518.

They only missed a medal in one event, the 400 free, where Conor Dwyer and Connor Jaeger finished 4th and 5th, and the 200 fly was the only event that they didn’t have two men in the final. On top of that, they swept the relays.

Michael PhelpsRyan Murphy and Nathan Adrian led the way individually, all earning multiple medals including two gold each for Phelps and Murphy. The three of them were also key on the relays. Phelps swam on all three, and provided key legs on the 400 free and 400 medley. Adrian anchored both of those relays, splitting sub-47, and Murphy led off the medley relay in a new 100 back world record that kept the Americans in contact with Great Britain after Adam Peaty‘s 56.5 breaststroke leg.

Like the women, Australia didn’t perform as well as predicted here but still did enough to finish 2nd overall in individual, relay and total points. Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton really came through with individual gold medals, but no one else stood out. Mitch Larkin only managed one individual silver medal after coming in with a great shot at two golds, and Cameron McEvoy being left off the 4×200 free relay likely kept them off the podium. McEvoy would have to be considered the biggest disappointment on the men’s side, going from a clear favorite for gold in the 100 free all the way down to 7th place.

Japan also had a strong showing with 181 individual points, and backed it up with 82 relay points including a bronze in the 4×200 free. They were led by Kosuke Hagino who won gold in the 400 IM and silver in the 200 IM.

Great Britain, Russia and Brazil were all solid as well for 4th, 5th and 6th, though maybe not as good as was predicted prior to the meet. China had a great showing individually with 144 points, but false starts in both the 4×100 free and 4×100 medley relays (medley was in the final) left them with zero relay points, hurting their total. They didn’t qualify to compete in the 4×200 free. Brazil had 57.5 fewer points than them individually, but passed their cumulative total with 60 relay points.

Here’s a look at the combined points totals for the countries:

TOTAL POINTS BREAKDOWN

Rank

Country

Male Points

Female Points

Total Points

1

United States

518

467.5

985.5

2

Australia

295

353.5

648.5

3

Japan

263

174.5

437.5

4

Great Britain

223

180

403

5

China

144

248.5

392.5

6

Russia

211

151

362

7

Canada

76.5

277

353.5

8

Hungary

75

159

234

9

Brazil

146.5

55

201.5

10

Germany

142

58

200

11

Italy

123

74

197

12

France

126

62

188

13

Denmark

23

146

169

14

Sweden

12

154

166

15

South Africa

118.5

0

118.5

16

Spain

34

74

108

17

Netherlands

36.5

65

101.5

18

Belgium

79

2

81

19

Poland

34

4

38

20

Lithuania

24

12

36

21

Iceland

0

33

33

22

Kazakhstan

31

0

31

23

Singapore

30

0

30

24

Greece

28

0

28

25

Ukraine

16

8

24

T-26

New Zealand

10

13

23

T-26

South Korea

7

16

23

T-28

Belarus

0

20

20

T-28

Romania

20

0

20

T-30

Switzerland

8

11

19

T-30

Zimbabwe

0

19

19

32

Finland

1

15

16

33

Bahamas

0

13

13

T-34

Egypt

7

5

12

T-34

Turkey

0

12

12

T-36

Jamaica

0

11

11

T-36

Norway

11

0

11

38

Slovenia

0

10

10

T-39

Hong Kong

0

9

9

T-39

Slovakia

9

0

9

T-39

Venezuela

3

6

9

T-39

Vietnam

0

9

9

T-43

Czech Republic

5

3

8

T-43

Portugal

8

0

8

45

Serbia

7

0

7

46

Croatia

0

6

6

47

Israel

2

2

4

48

Colombia

3

0

3

49

Ireland

1

0

1

Obviously, the United States dominated amassing nearly 1000 points. Finishing 2nd for both men and women gave Australia the #2 overall spot, while Japan, Great Britain, China and Russia got decent contributions from both sides to finish 3rd through 6th.

Both Canada and Hungary got big hauls from their women, but their men let them down with only 76.5 and 75 points respectively. Canada ranked 3rd for women, but got bumped to 7th overall. Hungary finished 8th overall, but was over 100 points behind Canada.

The 15th ranked South Africans were the highest scoring team who only got a contribution from one side, with the men scoring all of their 118.5 points.

To wrap up, here’s a look at the top five individual scorers from both the men’s and women’s sides:

TOP 5 INDIVIDUAL MALE POINT SCORERS

Rank

Swimmer

Country

Points

1

Michael Phelps

United States

56

2

Kosuke Hagino

Japan

49

3

Chad Le Clos

South Africa

48

4

Ryan Murphy

United States

40

5

Sun Yang

China

38

Phelps brought in the most points with his two wins and three-way tie for silver, while Hagino’s two medals and three final appearances got him 2nd. Chad Le Clos didn’t have the week he wanted but still came away with 48 points due to his pair of silver medals and one 4th place finish, and Murphy as previously mentioned went 2-for-2 in the backstroke races. Sun Yang claims 5th with one gold, one silver and an additional point thanks to his 16th place finish in the 1500 free.

TOP 5 INDIVIDUAL FEMALE POINT SCORERS

Rank

Swimmer

Country

Points

1

Katinka Hosszu

Hungary

77

2

Katie Ledecky

United States

60

3

Sarah Sjostrom

Sweden

57

4

Mireia Belmonte Garcia

Spain

54

5

Maya Dirado

United States

53

The women’s side was clearly dominated by a few athletes while the men’s was more spread out, evidenced by the top-3 all collecting more than Phelps and 4th and 5th well ahead of #2 Hagino.

Hosszu had three wins and a silver to give her 77, while Katie Ledecky went 3-for-3 in her races to claim 60. Sjostrom swam four individual events and medaled in three of them to get her 57, while Mireia Belmonte Garcia scored in five different events including gold in the 200 fly and bronze in the 400 IM. Maya Dirado rounds out the top-5 with a gold, silver and bronze individually.

 

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9 Comments on "Scoring the 2016 Olympic Games: Americans Dominated On Both Sides"

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They need to start compiling these rankings officially. It gives you a real feeling for how good a team is top to bottom. I was not entirely surprised to see Brazil rank 6th in the Men’s and 9th overall; ahead of teams like France, Italy, Sweden, and Denmark, despite not having any medalists. They continually put multiple swimmers in the finals of events, but just couldn’t break through for a top three finish.

Interestingly, they do score out World Championships by a similar system. But, not the Olympics.

Thanks Braden!

It puts into perspective the disappointment of Aussies: they finished clearly second surrounded by much more populous countries. Ignorants already told me her that population is not an important parameter, please don’t repeat it, or I’ll never stop laughing this time.

Given that they are also the most impacted country by jetlag and calendar/season issues, the global performance of the team must be seen as very decent.

I read last year where the Aussies were conditioning their internal clocks over a year ago to acclimate to Rios’s time zone. With travel always being a big part of the international swimming meets, (University Games, Pan Pacs, Worlds, and Olympics, etc), I was really surprised by the Aussies lack of great swims. Not sure it can be all blamed on travel and time zones changes. The Aussies are a GREAT swim nation, will learn from this experience, and rebound. The swimming world needs and wants them to be great again.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs, where he is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 11th season as a competitive swimmer.

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