Olympics: NZ punched above its weight in London

Sarah Walker celebrates her gold medal. Photo / AP
Sarah Walker celebrates her gold medal. Photo / AP

New Zealand's medal haul at the London Olympics has placed it amongst the top countries punching above their weight, according to a University of Waikato number cruncher.

Based on population, economy and Olympic squad size, New Zealand, Hungary and Iran were the most improved when it came to the medal tally board - outperforming their competitors, said Associate Professor David Co, who teaches accounting.

To calculate the performance of countries he gave five points for a gold medal, three points for silver and one point for bronze.

Compared to Beijing in 2008, Iran was the stand-out performer, improving its placing of 47th with six medals, up to eighth place with 38 medals.

Hungary increased its medal count from 10 to 17, and New Zealand came in at third after moving from 27th with nine medals to 15th with 13 medals.

Overall, wealthy countries dominated the medal board, said Dr Coy.

Using his calculations, the same countries placed in the top five in London as in Beijing - Ethiopia, China, Kenya, Russia and Ukraine.


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