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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan_weightliftinghouse View Post
    Not at all. If someone wants to put the work in to produce such a book (or one based on any other measure) I would be interested to read it and would appreciate the effort they made. I certainly wouldn't be referring to their efforts as "misinformation" or accusing them of being "incredibly disingenuous" just because I would have chosen a different metric.

    Seb chose a method for selecting the athletes and how they would be ranked in his book. It's not the only method available. Other methods have advantages and disadvantages but that's the one he chose and he explained why in the book. The method he chose led to a list of lifters with interesting stories worth sharing so I think the book has some value.

    The issue of testing standards across eras is a reasonable thing to raise. My own personal list of greatest weightlifters would discount anyone who cheated at any point in their career but this was Seb's book and his choice was to discount invalidated results but use all results that the IWF still considers valid. Again, if someone else produced a book with a different approach, I would welcome it and I'm sure Seb would too.
    You need to take a step back and recall how weightlifting - and winning therein - is defined by the IWF.

    A body weight as low as possible for any given total X has never been what decided IWF competitions. The body weight for most of WL's history has only be the deciding factor if the total was equal. That means we had ONE fixed value. With Sinclair (or any similar measure) we have NO fixed value. This is the fundamental mismatch. No lifter has ever tried to achieve a total at a body weight as low as possible. The goals of the IWF ranking and the Sinclair ranking are not aligned - they cannot enter the same equation. You're trying to square the circle, it's not possible.

    And I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm right. I'm saying you're wrong and if I attempted the same I'd be wrong too. Any type of this book, by whatever measure, would be the subjective opinion of the author(s), no matter how objective they pretend to be.

    BTW, the IWF has directly said the "comparison between categories [is] inconsistent" with Sinclair (ref. Sinclair vs. Robi PDF). This inconsistency is evident if you try to rank the values.

    Also recall that the author of Sinclair states in his definition the body weight is assigned arbitrarily.

    The reason why your book is misinformation and plain presumptuous is because of its title. The correct name would be "a ranking of weightlifters by an arbitrary value chosen by one person". Greatest it is not. This adjective is an (absolute) value judgement which has a mostly fixed definition in people's mind. It's chosen not because it is true but because it attracts attention.

    Now, is Marchokov a better lifter in 2000 than Rezazadeh? Your book would claim as such.

    The examples are endless. In the 82.5kg category at Barcelona 1992 Pyrros Dimas won Gold with a Sinclair of 447.57, while Chon Cholho won nothing with a Sinclair of 450.62. Hence your book would claim that Chon was the better lifter that year. Would you make the same assessment in personal conversation?

    As an aside, it also creates nonsensical rankings like 1988 Suleymanoglu is better than 1996 Kakhiashvili, who himself is better than 1996 Suleymanoglu. Even though all of these performances resulted in Olympic Gold, the highest award achievable in those years.

    Once more: if you rank lifters by an arbitrary value it's not objective, correct or "mostly correct". It cannot be because if you change the arbitrary value you also change the ranking. There is no "best" arbitrary value.

    You're trying to find a solution to an equation, but the solution to this equation is undefined.

    TL;DR:

    a) An arbitrarily chosen value cannot produce a ranking "of all time". Because the ranking is only true for this arbitrary value, which isn't universal.

    b) Lifters can be (and are it seems) ranked by a measurement that doesn't reflect their success in weightlifting, it contradicts it.

    We used the most recent value (the one for the current Olympic quad). Hence why I said that we scored lifters as if they made their best lifts at the end of the Sinclair era.
    The Sinclair era isn't over. The Sinclair coefficients and the calculator are unmoved on the IWF page. ROBI is not a direct replacement for Sinclair, they coexist. Sinclair unlike ROBI was never used as a qualifying tool or something similar.

    If I'm reading you correctly you plan to adjust your "greatest" ranking in 2021 because the new Olympiad? "Of all time". Nope.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by erpel View Post
    You need to take a step back and recall how weightlifting - and winning therein - is defined by the IWF.
    No offense, but I think it's you who needs to take a step back. You seem to be getting very wound up about a book that someone wrote to express their appreciation for the modern history of weightlifting.

    Every book and it title is the opinion of its author. This was Seb's book so the definition of what is "greatest" was up to him, especially as there is no defined way to compare weightlifters with each other.

    In his introduction, Seb mentions that there are many ways to answer the question "Who is the greatest weightlifter?" and that the method he chose, although it is his favourite, is not perfect.

    You claim that there is a fixed definiton of "greatest" – I'm interested to know what you think that is because I can think of several possible definitions that would all have advantages and disadvantages.

    You seem to be erecting a strawman in which the book is claiming to be some kind of scientifically objective theory of weightlifting greatness. It's not. It's an attempt to tell the stories of some amazing and intriguing athletes who were selected and ranked by -gasp!- a method chosen by the author.

    The book talks about situations where the Sinclair score doesn't tell the whole story and looks at lifters who were more notable for their medal success than for their highest Sinclair (that's why there are 70 lifters in the book – originally it was going to be 50)

    As for my use of the term 'Sinclair era', while the IWF still have a Sinclair calculator on their site, they are quite clear that Robi is now the official method to compare athletes across categories:

    ‘Robi Points’ is the official IWF calculation method to compare individual athlete Total results across each of the IWF bodyweight categories at Junior and Senior level.

    That would imply that Sinclair has been superceded as the preferred way to compare athletes.

    In the interests of moving on from your dislike for the book, I'm interested to know whether you think Robi is a better system for comparing peformances than Sinclair. For me the big problem with it is the fact that an outlier world record in a category means that it is much harder to score points in that category than in others. Conversly, a category with an unusually low record is going to make scoring points easier (I suspect this will be the case in the non-Olympic categories after a few years). The IWF Robi document claims that comparison between categories is consistent with Robi but I'm not sure what they even mean by that.

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  4. #13
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    FWIW I can't think of many Lifters who came to mind that I thought "should" be in the book that weren't, so the metric chosen seems fair enough to me (shrugs).

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  6. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan_weightliftinghouse View Post
    a book that someone wrote to express their appreciation for the modern history of weightlifting
    In a nutshell.

    I bought the book, I really liked it, the thought of how they were ranked didn't even enter my head, I don't care. I often recommend it to people. Top work.

  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiftTheWorld View Post
    In a nutshell.

    I bought the book, I really liked it, the thought of how they were ranked didn't even enter my head, I don't care. I often recommend it to people. Top work.
    Thanks man, that is really awesome to hear! The way that I ranked the athletes really wasn't the most important part of the book, it was the stories and numbers that these giants hit. I spoke with Bruce Klemens and he believed that it was the correct way to rank the athletes also.

  8. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seb WL House View Post
    The way that I ranked the athletes really wasn't the most important part of the book, it was the stories and numbers that these giants hit
    Yep, I'd be pretty sure 99% of the people who also bought this book would agree.

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