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I hope someone can help me on a question which is one of the biggest posers in athletics.

You may be aware that the 100m record was recently tied & may be broken again. However, one record that seems like it may never be broken ( by general consensus of athletics fans ) is Michael Johnson's legendary 19.32 run at the 1996 Olympics ( although he may have had an illegaly hard track "help" him to that time ) :

Here is the all-time list :

http://www.alltime-athletics.com/m_200ok.htm

Now, I tried a method to predict what the statistical "predicted" 200m record should be & I'd like your opinion on how valid it is & if someone can suggest a better method:

Back in 2003, I took the top 100 performances on that list, worked out the mean & standard deviation of those. The the "predicted" world record should be the value that is 49% away from the mean or2.326348standard deviations from the mean ( i.e. it represents the top 1% performance of the population of a 100, which means the world record )

Using this method, the predicted world record then was19.629s.

The problem with this method, is that we are not dealing with a normally distributed population - this is a heavily skewed population.

Is it still valid to apply a standard deviation method to this skewed population ?

if not, could someone suggest some improvements or a better method ?

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# Help needed with a Sports Question

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