Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's good if we say it is

With the Commonwealth Games having drawn to a close, and with every Glaswegian bursting with pride (well, in theory) at the handing over of the flag in readiness for 2014, I've been trying to work out the extent to which this has been a genuinely successful games for the Scottish team. A direct comparison with the number of medals won in previous games isn't of much help, because the number of events has increased dramatically over the years. A more meaningful comparison would be with previous Scottish placings in the medals table - which, contrary to the general perception at present, actually tends to suggest that this has been a relatively poor games for us. Tenth place is, believe it or not, only one spot higher than our most barren games of recent times in 1998. At the other end of the scale, we've finished as high as fourth a number of times, most notably on home soil in 1970. But, there again, on those occasions we were ahead of countries that we had no real right to be ahead of in sheer population terms, such as India and Malaysia. Now that those nations have got their act together, perhaps tenth place can be considered an equivalent achievement to fifth or sixth a few decades ago.

Or, to put it another way, it's a good result if we decide it is. And it looks like we have. Hurrah! If it only worked that way in football...

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