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Usain Bolt could break his own record with the help of altitude and the wind
Date:8/2/2012

Imagine the following situation. The 100 metres finals in the London Olympic Games. The Jamaican Usain Bolt wins. Up to this point everything sounds normal except for the fact that he would break his own record again with a time of 9.48 seconds. According to the New Zealand researchers, this would be his record if there were a 2 metre per second tailwind (maximum allowable wind) and the race took place at an altitude of 999 metres. This record will of course have to wait because London lies just 24 metres above sea level. Scientists are sure though that environment conditions affect sports performance even to a great extent.

On the 16 August 2008 the fastest man in the world, the Jamaican Usain Bolt, took a first world record in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China after running the 100 metres in 9.69 seconds. One year later during the world championships in Berlin, Germany he broke his own record with 9.58 seconds.

Independently of the athlete's talent and training, there are various factors that could influence Usain's records: altitude below or above 1000 metres above sea level; the venue, whether the race takes place indoors or outdoors; the type of competition (world, Olympic or other): or whether an electronic timer or stopwatch is used, etc. In his case, the difference between the two races was the wind.

On the day that Bolt made his first record in the Olympic Games there was no wind whereas in the world championships, there was a tailwind with a speed of 0.9 metres per second. "Was the new record helped along by the wind?" questions Steve Hollings, lead author of the study that was published in the European Journal of Sport Science. He also works in the Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand of the Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand).

In their search for the answer, the team employed an empirical approach in order to estimate the effects of wind speed, altitude and other environmental f
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Contact: SINC Team
info@agenciasinc.es
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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