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Medal Muddle

Countries from across the world competed in a sports tournament. Can you devise an efficient strategy to work out the order in which they finished?

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Which countries have the most naturally athletic populations?

Olympic Measures

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level
Year 3 at How Wood Primary approached this problem in an interesting way:

We tried to work out the problem. We knew we needed to make sensible estimates. To work out Usain Bolt's record, for example, we ran the distance ourselves and found out what times we scored. We thought that he'd be able to do it a little bit faster than us, so that helped make our guesses. Two groups guessed really well with 10 seconds. So we were using what we already know to help us solve a problem.

Fantastic! This is a great way to estimate the kinds of numbers you're looking for and use the data you have sensibly.

The final table of answers, which loads of people got right, is given below. Thanks to everyone for the submissions!

Usain Bolt's 100 metres
World Record
9.58 seconds
Women's Long Jump
World Record
7.52 metres
Men's High Jump World Record 2.45 metres
Basketball hoop diameter 18 inches
Basketball hoop height 10 feet
Mass of Women's Discus 1 kg
Women's Discus World Record 76.8 metres
Diameter of Archery target  122 cm
Archers' distance from the target 70 metres

Average speed of World Record
Men's 50 km Walking race

8.77 mph
Men's Shot put World Record 23.12 metres
Height of Diving platform 10 metres
Men's 10km Swimming
2012 Olympics winner's time
01:49:55 hr:min:sec
Men's 50m Freestyle Swimming
2012 Olympics winner's time
21.34 seconds
Paula Radcliffe's
Women's Marathon World Record
02:15:25 hr:min:sec
Triathlon Swim (distance) 1500 metres
Triathlon Bicycle ride (distance) 40 km
Triathlon Run (distance) 10 km
Men's Triathlon
2012 Olympics winner's time
01:46:25 hr:min:sec
Men's Pole Vault World Record 6.16 metres