Ethan Siegel I wonder if it would be better to model “Year’s best times” as a function of year instead of the WR times? If the model used is the same (exponential), obviously the model based on the Annual best times would be higher than that based on the WR, but it wouldn’t be as subject to large gaps in data and it would be more “robust”. Quite possibly the women’s 100 or 200m race data would also be well fit by an exponential rather than linear.

An unmentioned and independent reason for falling WRs (which would also lead to an exponential model) is due to previously unexposed sub-populations of humans (with the same or better distribution of “innate abilities”) becoming exposed to better nutrition, training and simple access to official competition.

I stop to miau to cats.

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