The length of time it takes the winner of a marathon to cross the finish line is considered a measurement of nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio and why
You also asked why...
A Cartesian graph has an x- and y- axis.
The former is horizontal (left and right) and called the abscissa.
The latter is vertical (up and down) and called the ordinate.
The graph drawn after a marathon would likely have the names of all participants positioned on the x-axis, and the statistics on the y-axis. Henceforth, the concept you are looking for is the ordinal--Who achieved the greatest number?