Continental trends in Athletics

Amantle Montsho of Botswana
The USA remain the absolute stars of world athletics, repeating in Daegu 2011 their victory in Berlin 2009.
But their margin is thinning, only 551 pts between them and second place Russia, and the Americas’ declining leadership position is just one of the continental trends seen in Daegu.
Europe beat the Americas by 626 pts, earning a 37,1% share of the total pts, while the Americas fell to a 32,3% share. In Berlin it had been a much closer affair, Europe edging on top with 36,9% of the pts vs 36,1% of the Americas.
Europe’s leadership in Daegu was much clearer in Men, with 36,3% of the pts, up from 33,4% in Berlin. The Americas Men dropped to  a 32,7% share in Daegu, a loss of 4 percentage pts.
The other clear trend to emerge in world athletics is the rise of African nations. Not so much in the top performers, Kenya and Ethiopia were already in the top ten in Berlin 2009, but in lower positions too. South Africa (11th overall), Morocco (15th) and tiny Botswana (29th) all jumped up from their positions in 2009, earning Africa a 22,4% share of the points, well up from 17,9% in Berlin.
And while African men only grew from 21,0% to 23,1% in Daegu, it was the Ladies who powered up the African continent, climbing from a 14,4% share in Berlin to a remarkable 21,6%. As many as 7 African nations feature in the Top Twenty in the Women Track Athletics ranking in Daegu: Kenya (2nd !!), Ethiopia (5th), Botswana (10th with one gold in the 400m), Tunisia (12th ), South Africa (13th), Nigeria (14th), Morocco (15th).
Athletes from all the other continents are warned!