Freitag, 8. November 2019

The Chinese sequel V: The chinese rockets

I wonder: How did the Chinese men and women as a team?

The men

The Chinese men started fast. Top 4 at the 3rd control after about 2 min., 469m and 4 corners, 4.15min/km. Top 2 still after 3.25 at 6th control 829m an 18 corners 4.07min/km.

Li ZhuoYe keeps the lead until the second last control.

Note: Also slow starts and non-collective error pattern of the Chinese men Team.

ZhuoYes speed on the non technical legs: 7: 3.52min/km, 14: 3.53min/km 17: 3.50min/km; 22: 3.49min/km; Run-In: 2.33min./km

ZhuoYes speed on the technical legs: 4th: 4:56min/km;  8th: 4.14min/km, 19th: 4.20min/km; 20th: 5.28 min/km; 21th: 5.06 min/km

The women

Also the women started fast. Top 2 at the second control after 1.02, 251m,  4.07 min./km.

Still 1, 4&5 at the 7th control after 3.40 min. and 850m. Shuangyan starting pace: 4.18 min/km. Jiayis and YongYus starting pace 4.42 min./km

Note: also bad starts and individual error pattern from the Chinese women team.

Haos top speed: 7th 4.19min./km; 9th 4.10min./km; 14th 3.58 min./km; 20th 3.48 min./km.

  • The general team perfomance pattern do not indicate collective cheating.
  • The team performance in the first section does not indicate collective cheating.
  • The fast start of some team members (chinese rockets) can be explained with over-motivation, familiarity with the kind of terrain and good preparation (map was available, start-setup was predictable). The starting speeds of the chinese runners where not incredibly high.
  • The starting speeds of the later winner Hao as the mens 3rd Li are consistent with their perfomance throughout the courses. So acutally, if claims are true, only Hao and Li would have had gotten the entire courses leaked... Wow!
  • Contraindication: Hao runs neither 7th nor 9th at full speed, why should  she slow down here, if she knew the good routes already.
  •  Simona vs. Shuangyan. Shuangyans performance was not extraterrestric. She just was ready from the start. A cautious start and a mistake by Simona made her succeed. (btw. Impressive how fast Simona adapted (first time in China, first Sprint in this type terrain after maybe ?two? traings to adapt, she gets into the rythm just after the first section of the course)


Ivar Lundanes hat gesagt…

Some of the things that in your opinion shows no signs of cheating could also be arguments for the other side.

- You say that the strong start by all Chinese athletes does not indicate cheating because it could be because over-motivation and good preparations. It could also indicate cheating because it could be because they knew how the first part looked like.

- You claim Zhuoye performed consistently during the whole race. First 12 controls: 7 top 3 splits. Last 11 controls: 10th as best split. That doesn't look consistant to me.

- I struggle to recreate your numbers of running speed. It would be nice if you added how you calculate that. When I use the data from TracTrac to calculate your numbers for Zhuoyes race it doesn’t fit with yours and they TracTrac numbers are obviuesly wrong. F.ex. control 4. TracTrac says Zhuoye ran 106 meters in 42 seconds while Yannick ran 98 meter in 34s. Winsplit says Zhuoye had 35s and Yannick 37s. When it comes your numbers I get the feeling that you’re trying to say “look Zhuoye ran slower on the technical controls than he did on the tricky controls, this means he didn’t cheat” while these numbers don’t prove anything one way or the other, because what makes a control technical in this sprint terrain is sharp corners, narrow street and many junctions which of course makes the speed drop significantly (and even if it was a marked route one would see everyone make a huge speed drop on these legs).

- We also have that for Zhuoye the 6th and the 7th control are his two worst splits in the first half of the race. As an argument for cheating that can be explained by the forbidden area on the way to control 7, which according to SEA Trewin was included in the course the night before the event.

- You say that there are claims that the chinese had the whole course leaked and therefore it must've been only Hao and Zhuoye that got the courses. That is not what's been said. The claims are that they had probably must have had acccess to earlier versions of the course. According to SEA Trewin some course changes were done very close to the race and that it affected the second part of the course (starting with the forbidden area between 6 and 7 in mens course, between 5 and 6 for women). This would also be a good answer to your comment about Haos speed at 7 and 9 and why she didn’t run “full speed” here. Maybe because this was a area, or just before and area, where the race course was not the same as the earlier version.

- And about non-collective error pattern:
At a rerun race in Norway this autumn, even some pretty good sprint orienteers (Steiwer and Westergård) made actual mistakes at the rerun race, even if they had run the course before, studied the course map between the races and studied the course in the terrain after the first race. So even if the entire Chinese had been in the terrain before the race and seen early versions of the courses one would expect most of them to still make a few mistakes.

So to the conclusion:
There are no real evidence one way or the other, and there will never be unless there have been cheating and someone confess. There are just indications, which funnily the same facts are used as indications on both sides.

You write as your indications are so much stronger than mine. I find that a bit naive and arrogant. But this is your blog, so that's not something I really can complain about. I'm grateful for the time you've put into researching this race and that you've had an open discussion in the comments of your posts, even if I strongly disagree with your conclusions.

I see no way further in this discussion (but I would be happy if you give short info about how you did the calculation of speed since the data from Trac Trac is basically useless and I can't quite get where your numbers are coming from even if they do look about correct) and this might be my last comment.

M.Lerjen hat gesagt…

@ivar: I tried to figure out the route choices taken from the GPS and than measured them with SprintOAnalyzer v2.0. This is as close as I can get to the real performance of the runners.

My question to you: How can you support your statement, that ZhuoYe ran faster in China. Do you have access to his route from Switzerland?

My calculation:
Li Zhuoye B-final Switzerland: Running Time 15.50. Running distance: Minmum 4000m (based on SOA). Speed 3.57min./km or faster.
Li Zhuoye World Cup final China: Running Time 15.18. Running distance: 3792m (SOA by me). 4.03 min./km.

Ivar Lundanes hat gesagt…

That statement is based on the official disctance in Bulletin 4, which is 4,0 km, and that's why his official min/km in China is faster than Switzerland. I assumed the course setter had measured correctly in China, which seems to might not be completely correct. If shortest possible route is shorter, that will of course slow down his min/km-time like you say and it will slow down the others even more.

Still for me 6s/km slower in China is still extremely impressive (and almost impossible) when you look at the differences in the two courses where the course in China had about 33% more distinct directions of changes (about 50% more sharp corners), 50% more climbing, about 300% more “technical controls” and about 50% more tricky route choices. And the streets in China is a lot narrower. The course in China should slow you down a lot!
The relation between Zhuoye and the top athletes are extreme, that does not change even if the course in China were actually 4 km or 3,75 km.

M.Lerjen hat gesagt…

Zhouyes running capacity may lie somewhere around 3.45 min/km. That is the speed he runs on the flat, direct, pretty corner-free routes. 3.48 on 6th and 7th control, 3.49 on 14th and 17th.

As stated earlier, it is logic, that narrow roads and many corners should slow down slower runners less as it does fast runners (as long as they own the technical capacity). (A tempo limit on the motorway makes no slow car drive slower).

And, as you can see in Simonas case, the "best sprint orienteers in the world" can still run these lanes and corners a lot faster than the chinese, but what crossed "the best sprint orienteers in the world"* was specific technical limit and subsequent errors.

I agree with you, that we are not getting any further. I mean, Joahnn Mühlegg, the Russians in Sotchi, Armstrong ... who can argue against such arguments? :-)


Ivar Lundanes hat gesagt…

Your argumentation of 3:45 min/km on straight corner free routes just leads back to the simple two possibilities:
Zhuoye either is techichal superior and is therefore capable to orienteer so close to his fysical limits that no one can match even in a easy sprint course (and he does it in a tricky course!) or there are something behind that makes him suddenly being capable of running so close to his fysical limits on a course where everyone else has to slow down a lot.

The best (specially in the case of Zhuoye) is generally on a such higher level that the chinese shouldn't be close even if they performed 10-20s slower than you'd normally expect.

Your option is possible, but it's highly unlikely.
You can ignore context, ignore history, ignore previous performances, ignore what some of the best orienteers in the world says about what it takes to perform at this level. Fine.
Enjoy Neverland.

Bernt O Myrvold hat gesagt…

If I understand Ivar´s arguments we should not trust any results in sports. There has been numerous cases of doping, match fixing, bribing of judges and referees. This has been done by clubs, teams, governments and criminal gangs, as well as individuals. This is the case in all sports and all nations, and at all levels. As we can never prove that this has been the case we should not trust the results. The only reasonable conclusion is that we should stop having international competitions and probably any other championships as well. We should certainly not use the limited resources of out federations to support the so-called elite.

I do not subscribe to quite the same pessimistic view. Otherwise I would no have used 1200+ unpaid hours for the last WOC. I do not think any leak or infringement happened, but I can certainly not prove that:
None in the course planning tema leaked
No event advisors leaked
No national controllers leaked
No test runners leaked
No TV technicians leaked
None in the tracking team leaked
None in the TV commentator teams leaked
None in the control building group leaked
None those preparing the printing leaked
None of the printers leaked
None of the (few) other with access to the maps and course did not leak
That I myself did not leak
And certainly I can not prove that our file storage systems were not hacked
Nor it is of course possible to prove that no runner breached the embargo.

In my opinion the Chinese case has already been resolved. No team or runner delivered any complaint. If a breech of the rules is suspected, you complain. Then the case is handled by the proper instances. If you don´t complain you have implicitly accepted what has happened.

It is probably also a very good reason that no sport allow spectators (like the participants in this discussion) to file a complaint.

Gregor hat gesagt…

Dear Bernt, your post is, in my view, actually the most dangerous thing in this whole discussion.

1. There is absolutely no reasonable doubt about the fact, that the Chinese runner did cheat.
2. (Informational) doping in orienteering is only possible with a whole network of people being involved, namely course setters, organisers, IOF officials, (National ADA, FIFA, etc,).
3. If we have a quarrel about the question IF the cheaters cheated, instead of doing the research on HOW they did it, and WHO is involved then you help the cheaters. And you loose a lot of time.
4. If you start this discussion on an absolutely obvious thing, then you help to distribute the doubt. This is exactly the thing the tobacco industry did and does, the Asbest-Industry did, some of the pharmaceutic industry does sometimes, and the multiple doping network does all the times. They spend a lot of money and energy in spreading doubts on an absolutely obvious things, sometimes even proved things.

I think, some caution on prejudice is a good advise. I think it's a good idea to find reasons, why it could be possible, possibly, maybe, if we bend all the rules of statistics at it's utmost extremes, let's say for one single Chinese, to do the race of his life. So maybe, with this idea: peace.
Well, but not ALL the Chinese. At CISM on two disciplines, and at WC.

If your quote, "In my opinion the Chinese case has already been resolved." is true, then this is the utmost disaster for our sport, it's in my opinion the funeral for orienteering being a fair sport. In fact, this is not a case for the Ethics commission of theIOF, this should be one for the investigation by WADA.
So stop this crazy thing and start investigations, instead of spreading doubts, otherwise one really has to suspect you guys being interested in yet another cheating being undiscovered.

M.Lerjen hat gesagt…

@Gregor: I was obvious cheating, we just have no proof, but that actually IS the proof: someone does not want us to find it. Right?

Gregor hat gesagt…

I'm not sure if I got your point. I don't believe in conspiracy theory, if this is, what you mean.

1. If somebody is "obviously" cheating, without "obvious" proofs, then we should be very careful about "premature condemnation". That is - like I understand it - the main positive thing in your statistics.
E.g. the Chinese runners did not run on an extraterrestrial level, they just run at their maximal physical performance, that's what you showed us.
"Obviously cheating": This has said a thousand times before: Because almost nobody ever does run on his/her maximal physical performance in orienteering. In sprint-orienteering, everybody looses around 1-2' per 12-15' compared with re-run, even at World Champion level. There is a extremely low probability, that somebody who never ever reached by far his maximum until now, reaches it in his home country without help. There is a almost zero probability, that EVERYBODY does in on THREE occasions.
(No published proof, Usain Bolt was cheating. But almost zero probability, that somebody runs 2/10 of a second faster than Ben Jonson without doping. Almost zero probability, that an enthusiastic Swiss runner, training for years in Eldoret (one of the heartlands of doping in Kenia), runs faster than Mo Farah, trained by Alberto Salazar, who was banned for 4 years.... No proofs, either.

2. So if somebody, or several people try to find arguments against the Chinese having "obviously" cheated, there are in my opinion three possibilities:

a) You are polite and careful, and you don't like preterm condemnation. That's what I really believe is what you are trying to show. Thanks for that.
(No, you seem not to have cheated. (Did you?) Your calculation seems reasonable. But the conclusion isn't, by far.)

b) You are incredibly naive

c) You are part of the network (as (informational) doping is (almost) always part of a network), and

c1) you are the guilty one. So you have to deny, and
c1.1.) accuse the incredible jealousy of the beaten athletes, who try to handle with their bad performance that day in accusing a clean winning athlete
c1.2.) spread doubts
c1.3.) daunt people (with words, juristic, violence) who doubt the cleanness of the results
c1.4.) .... (literally everything has been done to sweep the dirt under the rug)

c2) You are not the guilty one, but you have the order to do Pt. C1.1-4

c1) or c2) and you got money for doing PR C1.1-4.

d) You are in a treadmill. Once you started to defend, you don't find the way out

Whatever the reason for the extraordinary performance of the Chinese athletes on three orienteering competitions was (on one occasion of the CISM they already admitted cheating): If somebody says, that this problem has already been resolved, then he is really dangerous. Either it has to be proven, that the Chinese did not cheat, or the contrary. If the contrary is proven, then you have to find the network.

And perhaps I understood the quote in a wrong way. Maybe, indeed the "case has already been resolved" because nobody really cares, or earnestly wants to care about it, as always in doping cases. Absolutely nobody is interested in a positive doping case.
So, if "No team or runner delivered any complaint", and no institution does, either, then the case is really resolved. Orienteering fairness buried.

M.Lerjen hat gesagt…

@Glegov: I just was ironic on your logic.

"everybody looses around 1-2' per 12-15' compared with re-run".

That might be true in general, but is a false argument here. Such time loss is the sum of map work, getting terrain and map together and mistakes.

The question is now, how low can an athlete possibly lower the re-run time-loss with a flawless performance.

In the Swiss example with Christoph Meier and his smooth run in Novaggio the difference is actually 37 seconds which are only 3.8%

If we assume that ZhuoYe had a comparable run in Songtang, his re-run speed would have to come down from the effective 4.03 min./km to 3.55 min./km.

I earlier assumed that ZhuoYe had a running capacity from 3.45-3.50 min./km.

Sure, this is close together and based on some assumptions (e.g. that Meier was serious on his re-run;) but is not impossible.

(I would have to check Christophs top - speed on the "running legs" and compare it with the average speed of the re-run. That way I would isolate the terrain factor (corners, narrow lanes a.s.o.)) -> Maybe later.

We need more re-runs.

(I had some other issues to discuss, for example, why the Chinese did not cheat on the middle distance?)