Navigation Links
100-meter sprint world record could go as low as 9.48 seconds
Date:11/27/2008

2008 was a great summer for sports' fans. World records tumbled at the Beijing Olympics. Usain Bolt shattered both the 100m and 200m world records, knocking tenths of a second off each. People have been getting faster and faster over the last few decades, which made marathon runner Mark Denny, from Stanford University, wonder whether last century's massive increase in population could account for these dramatic improvements. He also wondered whether there are absolute limits on running speeds and, if so, how close are we to them? Suspecting that there are, Denny decided to scrutinise the running performances of humans and two other famous racing species, dogs and thoroughbred horses, to find how close modern runners are to their species' peak performances. He publishes his predictions for their top speeds on 28 November 2008 in The Journal of Experimental Biology at http://jeb.biologists.org.

Having found records dating back to the 1920s for dogs and the 19th century for humans and thoroughbreds, Denny looked to see whether there were any clear trends; had any of the species' performances already levelled off? Plotting the annual top running speeds for all three species over the years, it was clear that racing horses and dogs have already reached a plateau. There has been no improvement in the thoroughbred's speed in the Kentucky Derby since the 1940s and two other major US races since the 1970s, while dogs' performances also levelled out in the 1970s. The increasing dog and thoroughbred populations hadn't improved the animals' performances. However, 'chance might still turn up a faster animal,' says Denny and he predicts that thoroughbreds could improve their top speeds by as much as 1% in the 2012m Kentucky Derby, eventually peaking at a top speed of just over 17m/s.

For humans the results were complicated by the different distances that people race. Looking at the speeds of male race winners through the years, it seems as if men still haven't reached their top speeds at any distance and Denny predicts that male 100m sprinters could one day get the record down to an incredible 9.48s, running 0.23m/s faster than Usain Bolt's current world record of 9.69s. Meanwhile, female sprinters' top annual speeds levelled off in the 1970s, suggesting that any improvement in their speed was not due to a population increase. However, Denny suspects that female sprinters have room for improvement too, and predicts that they could eventually knock more than 0.4s of the current 100m world record to cover the distance in 10.19s.

Looking at marathon runners, Denny predicts that males could cut the current world record, held by Haile Gebrselassie, by between 2min7s and 4min23s. And when he calculates the top speed that a human female marathon runner could achieve, Denny suspects that women could eventually cross the 42,195m finishing line in 2h12min41s. He adds that Paula Radcliffe's current world record of 2h15min25s is very close to his average prediction for the maximum marathon speed and suspects that female marathon runners could be the first group to approach his predictions and test whether they hold.

Denny is pleased to have shown that it is possible to calculate the absolute limits to speed of running animals ranging from humans to thoroughbred horses. However, he emphasises that we have no idea what aspect of physiology restricts runners' performances, and is keen to find out what will prevent future gold medal winners from breaking Denny's Limits.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathryn Phillips
kathryn@biologists.com
44-012-234-25525
The Company of Biologists
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Breaking news: Study revives Olympic prospects for amputee sprinter
2. The worlds oldest bacteria
3. When bivalves ruled the world
4. Brains timing linked with timescales of the natural visual world
5. Amid spiralling government interest, worlds top 350 DNA barcode scientists meet in Taipei
6. Smithsonian scientists help lead effort to barcode worlds species
7. NASA celebrates a decade observing climate impacts on health of worlds oceans
8. The best both of worlds -- how to have sex and survive
9. NASA celebrates a decade observing climate impacts on health of worlds oceans
10. Amid spiralling government interest, worlds top 350 DNA barcode scientists meet in Taipei
11. Leading experts cite poor health and nutrition as major barrier to education in developing world
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 The research ... system for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D ... a new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, ... an affordable cost. ... ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 The Controller General of Immigration from Maldives ... Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR Award for the most ... Reading ... Maldives ... Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have received the IAIR award ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 21, 2017 Optimove , ... by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today ... Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, ... product and replenishment recommendations to their customers based ... predictions of customer intent drawn from a complex ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... G-CON today announced that it has ... its Patent Applications 14/858,857 and 13/669,785 both entitled Modular, Self-Contained, Mobile Clean Room. ... the protection of G-CON’s R&D investments and validate the G-CON platform as a ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... Allotrope Foundation ... the first phase of the Allotrope Framework for commercial use. , The Bio-IT ... to “not only elevate the critical role of information technology in modern biomedical ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Whitehouse Laboratories is excited to announce that ... series of ISO 80369 standard test procedures. The ISO 80369 series of eight ... systems. With this recent expansion, Whitehouse Labs becomes one of the only facilities ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... today announced safety software company AB Cube has joined its eHealth ... to advance technology innovation across life sciences and healthcare. Under the partnership, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: