Cores and Edges (4)


I have been working on the final part of my AIS Smart Talk presentation.

I have been thinking about optimisation.

I have added these two slides to trigger thoughts about Week 1 in the Olympic program.

The whole program in Rio:


Australia’s medal tally by day of the program:


22 of Australia’s 29 medals at the Games were won in the first eight days of competition.

Watching #rio2016 in England


I am in England at the moment. This is the first time I have been here during an Olympic Games since the Sydney Games in 2000.

When I left for Australia in 2002, Sport England’s World Class Potential and World Class Start programs were in their infancy. The sport system was trying to come to terms with the changes that were occurring as state sponsored athletes and coaches were transforming the performance landscape. A new generation of Performance Directors were accepting responsibility for long-term athlete pathways focussed on Olympic success.

Fourteen years on, it has been fascinating to observe how these changes have been embedded in people’s consciousness. Daily news items about Team GB’s successes are discussed on national and local television.

Just how pervasive this consciousness is was brought home to me during my stay in Bath. I sat in a cafe and heard a couple at the next table discussing the intricacies of Bryony Page’s trampoline routine that won a silver medal. In a queue for a bus, I overheard a group of people talking about Laurine van Riessen’s bike handling skills at the velodrome. Both were informed, interested exchanges.

Amidst the excitement of Team GB’s performance, there have been three experiences that have stood out for me in the first week. Before I mention these, I do want to pay my respects to the ways in which athletes talk about their performances and their humility about their successes. Throughout the first week I sense that the Team GB ethos has been very powerful. A system that was naive in 2002 is now a highly sophisticated, successful culture.

My three experiences of delight:

  1. Joe Clarke‘s gold medal run in the K1 canoe slalom class.
  2. The GB swim team‘s competitiveness and the emergence of their relay success.
  3. Max Whitlock‘s two individual gymnastic gold medals (floor and pommel).

Each of these has a personal resonance for me and I hope to write about each of them in a subsequent post.

This has been a most surprising week. It is very different to my experience of Olympic coverage and conversation in Australia.

I am hopeful that my professional stranger place in British sporting culture will sharpen my focus about performance environments.

I have had just one recurring angst in this first week. Many of the programs that have been successful express relief that they might receive funding for the Tokyo cycle to 2020. It must be very disconcerting to be a less successful program (defined by medals) in a vibrant Team GB. But this is another conversation.

Photo Credit

Rio 2016 (Ian Burt, CC BY 2.0)

Women’s Olympic Football Tournament 2016: Round 2 Group Games



Games in Round 2 of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in Rio were completed on 6 August.

The schedule of games can be found here.

I am aggregating some of the data from the tournament in this Google Sheet.

Secondary Data

I am collecting data from the FIFA website. I am making the assumption that the data shared there provide a record of fact assured by FIFA.

I am interested in:

  • When goals are scored.
  • Performance compared to FIFA ranking.
  • The team that scores the first goal.
  • The discipline of each team (cards received).

Goals Scored Round 2

There were 18 goals scored in the six games of Round 2 of the tournament.

The scorers were:

R2 Goals

My Google Sheet has hyperlinks to information about each goalscorer.

Time Intervals

I am using fifteen minute time intervals to record when goals are scored in the tournament. I am mindful of the issue of additional time after 45 and 90 minutes and how these might be accounted. For the purposes of this tournament I will note any goals scored in time added on at the end of each half. (In Round 2, Sara Dabritz (Germany) scored her goal at 45+2 in the game against Australia. Yasha Gu (China) scored her goal at 45+1 in the game against South Africa.)

In Round 2, the profile of goals scored was:

R2 Time

FIFA Ranking and Scoring First

Five of the six games in Round 2 were won by the team scoring first. Australia scored first against Germany and drew the game.

The higher FIFA ranked team won four of the six games played in Round 2. Germany (FIFA rank 2) drew with Australia (5). Brazil (8) defeated Sweden (6).

The FIFA rankings of the teams in the tournament are:



There were 14 yellow cards given by referees in Round 2.   There was one straight red card for Abby Erceg of New Zealand in the 88th minute of the game against Colombia.

Photo Credit

Olympic Stadium (FIFA Women’s world Cup, Twitter)