(09-Jan) -- In the race for Twitter followers amongst track and field athletes, Olympic gold medalists Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Jessica Ennis of Great Britain have widened their lead, the latest Race Results Weekly Twitter 100 report shows.
Sprinter Bolt and heptathlete Ennis have amassed 2,510,760 and 1,031,745 followers, respectively, and are the only athletes in the report with over one million followers. Between them, Bolt and Ennis have more followers than the next 50 athletes combined.
Mo Farah, the Olympic gold medalist at 5000m and 10,000m from Britain, retained his #3 spot in the rankings and has 728,840 followers. American sprint hurdler Lolo Jones held the #4 spot with 337,466, and South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, held onto his #5 position with 222,830 followers. Only nine athletes have over 100,000 followers.
The biggest improvement in the rankings was achieved by American hurdler Kerron Clement. He jumped to #15 in the current report with 68,337, up from #77 in the last report when he only had 8,887. Also jumping significantly was American sprinter Darvis "Doc" Patton. He's currently at #44 with 18,238 followers. His 5,586 followers from the last quarter did not put him in the top 100.
Total Twitter followers of the entire Race Results Weekly Twitter 100 moved up modestly from the last report. The top 100 totaled 7.5 million followers in the current report, up 4% from 7.2 million last quarter.
Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, have become critical tools in athlete, event and sponsor promotion. Athletes with large Twitter followings are more valuable to event organizers and product sponsors because they can reach fans and the media quickly and directly with their message. A single Tweet from Usain Bolt reaches an audience more than seven times the size of the number of households tuned into a typical New York Yankees game on television in 2011, according to The Neilson Company.
Here is a summary of the Race Results Weekly Twitter 100 as of January 9, 2013:
Rank. Name, Nation, Event, Followers, Handle, Verified?, Previous Rank
1. Usain Bolt, JAM, 100m/200m, 2,510,760, @usainbolt, Yes, 1
2. Jessica Ennis, GBR, Heptathlon, 1,031,745, @J_Ennis, Yes, 2
3. Mo Farah, GBR, 5000m/10,000m, 728,840, @Mo_Farah, Yes, 3
4. Lolo Jones, USA, 100mH, 337,466, @lolojones, Yes, 4
5. Oscar Pistorius, RSA, 400m, 222,830, @OscarPistorius, Yes, 5
6. Yohan Blake, JAM, 100m/200m, 206,242, @YohanBlake, Yes, 6
7. Dai Tamesue, JPN, 400mH, 137,832, @daijapan, No, 7
8. Greg Rutherford, GBR, Long Jump, 127,511, @GregJRutherford, Yes, 9
9. Allyson Felix, USA, 100m/200m, 124,119, @allysonfelix, Yes, 8
10. Paula Radcliffe, GBR, Marathon, 91,912, @PaulaJRadcliffe, Yes, 11
11. Asafa Powell, JAM, 100m/200m, 86,260, @officialasafa, Yes, 10
12. Ryuji Kashiwabara, JPN, 5000m, 85,511, @kashi0713, No, 12
13. Sanya Richards-Ross, USA, 200m/400m, 76,783, @SanyaRichiRoss, Yes, 13
14. Felix Sánchez, DOM, 400mH, 69,270, @elsupersanchez, Yes, 15
15. Kerron Clement, USA, 400mH, 68,237, @KerronClement, Yes, 77
16. Tyson Gay, USA, 100m/200m, 61,650, @TysonLGay, Yes, 14
17. Javier Culson, PUR, 400mH, 57,842, @JavierCulson, No, 17
18. Ryan Hall, USA, Marathon, 55,183, @ryanhall3, Yes, 19
19. Haile Gebrselassie, ETH, Marathon, 54,957, @HaileGebr, No, 18
20. Josh Cox, USA, Marathon, 53,671, @JoshCox, No, 16
30. Ashton Eaton, USA, Deca, 30,888, @AshtonJEaton, Yes, 29
40. Luguelin Santos, DOM, 400m, 21,440, @LuguelinSantos, No, 39
50. Sara Hall, USA, 3000m S/C, 16,508, @SaraHall3, No, 48
100. Jenny Simpson, USA, 1500m, 7,244, @trackjenny, Yes, 102
NOTE: The Race Results Weekly Twitter 100 is compiled quarterly by Race Results Weekly Inc., and is composed of the Twitter accounts of current and recently retired track and field athletes from all nations and disciplines. A full list of the top 100 athletes is available for purchase for USD 100. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to order --Ed.