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The method I use to identify the 10 all time best athletes is a very simple.
From the Top 10 lists in the yearly statistics (Men 1891-2004, Women 1921-2004), the athlete in the first position receives 10 points, the athlete in the second position receives 9 points and so on down to the tenth position.
Athlete with the most points is the best.
The same method is applied to Olympic Games, World Championships, and European Championships.
The athlete in the first place receives 10 points, the athlete in the second place
receives 9 points and so on down to the tenth place.
 
 
Top 10 Olympic Games
Points
Vladimir Golubnichiy  URS  41   
Maurizio Damilano  ITA  33   
Jefferson Pérez  ECU  33   
Hans-Georg Reimann  GDR  21   
Raul Gonzales  MEX  20   
Zhen Wang  CHN  18   
Peter Frenkel  GDR  18   
José Marin  ESP  18   
Francisco Javier Fernández  ESP  17   
10  Guillaume Leblanc  CAN  16   
10  Ivano Brugnetti  ITA  16   
10  Dieter Lindner  GDR  16   
10  Noel Freeman  AUS  16   
Top 10 World Championships
Points
Jefferson Perez  ECU  42   
Ilya Markov  RUS  29   
Francisco Javier Fernandez  ESP  27   
Yevgeniy Misulja  BLR  27   
Valentí Massana  ESP  26   
Maurizio Damilano  ITA  24   
Mikhail Shchennikov  RUS  23   
Giovanni De Benedictis  ITA  22   
Valeriy Borchin  RUS  20   
10  Roman Rasskazov  RUS  18   
10  Daniel Garcia  MEX  18   
10  Jozef Pribilinec  TCH  18   
10  Eder Sánchez  MEX  18   
10  Miguel Ángel López  ESP  18   
Top 10 European Championships
Points
Francisco Javier Fernández  ESP  28   
Vladimir Golubnichiy  URS  27   
Nikolay Smaga  URS  26   
Pavol Blazek  TCH  23   
Gerhard Sperling  GDR  23   
Hans-Georg Reimann  GDR  21   
Jozef Pribilinec  TCH  19   
Paul Nihill  GBR  18   
José Marin  ESP  16   
Joăo Vieira  POR  16