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Which IAAF World Standard Is The Hardest?

Which IAAF World Standard Is The Hardest?
Photo: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Of the 126 world team spots up for grabs this year, 17 potential qualifiers are still waiting for their official invitations due to he or she not hitting the IAAF standard. Most of those 17 U.S. athletes without the standard are in the field/racewalk events. This got us thinking, which world standard is the hardest to achieve and which is the easiest?

Below is a chart of the 38 "non-road event" world standards. We were able to rank the difficulty of each standard based on how close the standard is to the 10th-best all-time world mark. We used the 10th-best all-time mark instead of the world record in order to eliminate extreme outliers.

Interestingly, the 10 hardest standards are men's events, and 10 easiest standards are field events.

RNK SEX EVENT % of 10th All-Time 2017 Standard 10th All-Time
1 M 100 0.972 10.12 9.84
2 M 800 0.968 1:45.90 1:42.47
3 M 1500 0.967 3:36.00 3:28.81
4 M 200 0.965 20.44 19.72
5 M 400 0.963 45.50 43.81
6 M 10K 0.960 27:45.00 26:38.76
7 M 110H 0.960 13.48 12.94
8 M 400H 0.960 49.35 47.37
9 M HJ 0.958 2.30 2.40
10 M 5K 0.958 13:22.60 12:48.77
11 W 100 0.956 11.26 10.76
12 W 1500 0.954 4:07.50 3:56.14
13 W 800 0.953 2:01.00 1:55.26
14 W 100H 0.952 12.98 12.36
15 M PV 0.947 5.70 6.02
16 W HJ 0.946 1.94 2.05
17 W 5K 0.943 15:22.00 14:29.11
18 W 400 0.941 52.10 49.04
19 W 400H 0.941 56.10 52.79
20 W 3K SC 0.941 9:42.00 9:07.63
21 W 200 0.940 23.10 21.72
22 M TJ 0.939 16.80 17.90
23 W PV 0.938 4.55 4.85
24 M LJ 0.936 8.15 8.71
25 M 3K SC 0.934 8:32.00 7:58.41
26 W 10K 0.934 32:15.00 30:07.15
27 W TJ 0.928 14.10 15.20
28 W HT 0.924 71.00 76.83
29 W LJ 0.923 6.75 7.31
30 M DEC 0.921 8,100 8,792
31 M DT 0.912 65.00 71.26
32 M SP 0.910 20.50 22.52
33 W JT 0.909 61.40 67.51
34 M JT 0.908 83.00 91.46
35 M HT 0.906 76.00 83.93
36 W HEP 0.900 6,200 6,889
37 W DT 0.839 61.20 72.92
38 W SP 0.818 17.75 21.69
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