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Flat Cap News / Has Yorkshire become the best sporting county on earth?
Ennis (Robbie Dale: Flickr)

Has Yorkshire become the best sporting county on earth?

England topped the Commonwealth medal table for the first time in 28 years as Glasgow 2014 drew to a close earlier this month.

174 medals were scooped up by competitors across the country, smashing the national side’s medal target and relegating the Australians to 2nd place in the standings.

Central to England’s success was the huge amount of medals won by athletes from Yorkshire with a total of 46 claimed by athletes who were either born or trained in the county. If Yorkshire had being a country it would have finished seventh above South Africa.

The four tables below explain who are medal winning competitors were, where they are from and what sports they won their titles in. Click on the tabs on top to switch table.

However this isn’t the first time Yorkshire has powered the nation to sporting glory. In the London 2012 Olympic Games ‘God’s own country’ won 12 of Team GB’s 52 medals, including seven of the team’s 25 gold medals.

In London an independent Yorkshire would have claimed 11st spot in the medal table, just two spots behind Australia but above the Netherlands, Jamaica and New Zealand.

So is Yorkshire the strongest region in world sport? It is difficult to judge but we certainly compete when you compare our tallies worldwide as the figures below from London 2012 demonstrate.

Obviously being much larger regions athletes from both California and Florida claimed more medals, however neither could get near the British totals with Yorkshire’s average of less than 500,000 people per Olympic medal coming out on top.

So did our glut of Commonwealth medals safeguard our position as the leading world region? Well not quite.

South Australia, a state of 1.6m residents, upstaged Yorkshire’s population totals with less than half the Glasgow games being completed. Just six days into the competition the Aussie region has chalked up 18 medals (at that time equaling the total of Canada) – including seven golds.

Comparing those stats against us shows the South Australians, who relied heavily on track cycling for their success, scored a medal per 88,888 people against Yorkshire’s 116,000.

So Yorkshire isn’t quite ruling the sporting world just yet. But we are certainly punching well above our collective weight.

Main Image: Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis celebrates at the 2012 London Olympic games (Robbie Dale/Flickr).


My background is in regional newspaper reporting but I'm now mainly involved in online journalism. When I'm not writing I'm a Journalism lecturer at Leeds Trinity University and alongside managing this site I set-up the ltjournalism.com blog which covered the Grand Depart in Yorkshire.

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