How do our athletes rank against the rest of the world in 2012?

The close of the year sees 31 Australians with a best performance that ranks them in the top 50 in the world, while the number of men represented in Track & Field News' merit rankings has fallen to just two.

The number with a top 50 performance remained steady compared to previous years: 30 Australians achieved top 50 rankings in an event in 2011, and 33 in 2010. However, the number of Australians with a top 10 performance increased from four to six through Sally Pearson (100m hurdles #1), Jared Tallent (50km walk #2), Alana Boyd (pole vault #4), Mitch Watt (long jump #7), Henry Frayne (long jump #8) and Benn Harradine (discus #10).

Of course, medals aren't handed out on ranking lists - Great Britain's Mo Farah had only the 11th and 38th fastest times in the world in the 5000m and 10000m but two Olympic golds - and pundits often look to the merit rankings ascribed by Track & Field News if they want a measure outside of major championship medals. Only two Australian males made the list this year, Mitch Watt (long jump #2) and Jared Tallent (50km walk #2; 20km walk #6).

The full Track & Field News top 10 merit list is available here

Athletes in the top 50 in the world (top list)

2Jared Tallent50km walk3:36:53
7Mitch WattLong jump8.28m
8Henry FrayneLong jump8.27m
10Benn HarradineDiscus67.53m
11Steve HookerPole vault5.72m
12FrayneTriple jump17.23m
16Tallent20km walk1:20:02
19Jeff Riseley800m1:44.48
20Jarrod BannisterJavelin83.70m
21Steven Solomon400m44.97
23Ryan Gregson1500m3:33.92
24Dale StevensonShot put20.63m
24Scott MartinDiscus65.63m
26Tristan Thomas400m hurdles49.13
32Collis Birmingham5000m13:09.57
32Nathan Deakes50km walk3:48:45
34Brendan Cole400m hurdles49.24
36Youcef Abdi3000m steeplechase8:21.98
38Julian WruckDiscus64.85m
40Fabrice LapierreLong jump8.10m

1Sally Pearson100m hurdles12.35
4Alana BoydPole vault4.76m
12Kathryn MitchellJavelin64.34m
13Kim MickleJavelin64.12m
16Dani SamuelsDiscus63.97m
25Claire Tallent20km walk1:28:53
29Liz ParnovPole vault4.50m
30Lauren Boden400m hurdles55.45
35Regan Lamble20km walk1:30:08
37Lara Tamsett10000m32:01.60
42Zoe Buckman1500m4:05.03
46Genevieve LaCaze3000m steeplechase9:37.90
47Kaila McKnight1500m4:05.61

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