WHAT’S THE FASTEST 100 METER DASH A HUMAN CAN RUN?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF WIRED MAGAZINE)

 

WHAT’S THE FASTEST 100 METER DASH A HUMAN CAN RUN?

MORE THAN 130 years ago, at the first Olympic Games in Athens, Boston University law student Thomas Burke took his mark at the 100-meter dash not in a standing position, but a crouch—what was then considered an unusual starting stance.

But far more unusual, by today’s standards, was his gold-medal winning time of 12 seconds flat.

These days, talented middle schoolers post 100-meter times better than Burke’s. In March 2018, 15-year-old Briana Williams, a high school sophomore, set a world age-group record in the event with a time of 11.13 seconds. The record for boys 18-and-under is nearly a second faster still: Set in 2017 by Anthony Schwartz, the 10.15-second time would have won gold at 1980’s Summer Games.

Today, though, on the world stage, Schwartz wouldn’t even podium: In the past 30 years, only three sprinters have medaled at the Olympics with a time slower than 10 seconds. Propelled by more effective training, grippier track surfaces, faster footwear, and, yes, pharmaceuticals, competitors at every level of track and field’s premier event have steadily chipped away at the world’s best 100-meter times. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt holds the current world record: a sprightly 9.58 seconds.

The surprisingly persistent record progression is enough to make anyone ask: When will the fastest people on Earth cease to become any faster? And when they do, what will the fastest time ultimately be?

Depending on how you look at it, the answer to the first question could be “very soon,” or “not soon at all.” As recently as 2008, the popular perception among people who think about such things was that elite 100-meter runners were approaching the limits of possibility. Then came Bolt, who burst onto the scene at the Beijing Olympics with a record-wrecking time of 9.69 seconds—an anomalous performance, mathematicians thought, that statistical models placed two decades ahead of its time. But the following year, when Bolt broke his record by nine-hundredths of a second, he also broke, categorically, those old models. Today, revised probabilistic estimates project that his record could stand for upwards of two centuries. But who knows how that projection will measure up against reality. As applied mathematician David Sumpter has observed, Bolt single handedly demolished our ability to make reliable predictions about the 100-meter dash.

Which is one reason biomechanists approach the matter somewhat differently than mathematicians. They address the second question by investigating not when Bolt’s record might fall, but by how much, based on the bodies of today’s fastest sprinters.

“Once they get rolling, the force they apply becomes a motion-based mechanism, where they use their limbs to throw a punch at the ground,” says biomechanist Peter Weyand. As director of the Locomotor Performance Laboratory at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Weyand invites many of the fastest sprinters on Earth to run in short bursts in front of high-speed, motion-tracking cameras on a bespoke, force-sensing treadmill that makes the thing you trot on at your gym look like a glorified hamster wheel.

Based on his observations, Weyand says the two biggest factors limiting the performance of elite sprinters are how much force they can apply to the ground, and how fast. At current top speeds of around 27 miles per hour, he says elite male sprinters like Usain Bolt put down roughly five times their body weight, in between .085 and 0.09 seconds.

Just for fun, I ask Weyand what kind of numbers a sprinter would need to complete the 100 meter dash in 9 seconds, on the nose. “To get to what would be required for nine flat, they would have to approach forces roughly six times their body weight, and a ground contact time of just over seven hundredths of a second,” he says. At those figures, a sprinter could, in theory, reach a maximum speed of 13.5 meters per second—a hair over 30 miles per hour. But according to Weyand, no sprinter on Earth comes anywhere close to those numbers.

That probably puts the theoretical limit for the 100 meter dash closer to 9.58 than 9.00. But Weyand, for his part, thinks athletes have plenty of room to improve. “If you put together a perfect human being, and the perfect race, I could certainly see something in the low 9.40-second range, maybe a little bit faster than that, under currently legal conditions,” he says.

Then again, who knows how those conditions could change. When Thomas Burke coiled into a crouch at the starting line for the first Olympic 100 meter dash, he did so without the speed-boosting benefits of modern nutrition, apparel, or training. He didn’t even have starting blocks. Athletes at the Olympic Games in 2120 may well scoff at the rudimentary preparations of today’s sprinters too.


More Great WIRED Stories

The ‘NRA’ The ‘VA’ And ‘China’

The ‘NRA’ The ‘VA’ And ‘China’

 

This article today is a ‘dig’ at two organizations that I am a member of, the Veterans Administration and the National Rifle Association. I know that there are some people who will say things like ‘well if you don’t agree with them then why stay a member’. My reasoning is simple, how many things do you belong to that you agree with %100 of what they do and or say?

 

It is the NRA that gave me the idea for this article today. About a month ago I joined the NRA and they have three or four different items that they give out to new members, the one that I chose was a little lock blade pocket knife that I got in the mail about a week ago. On one side of the blade it has a very nice ‘NRA’ inscription, the other side is clear. Well, that is except for one thing, at the butt of the blade up next to the handle there is an embossed saying that simply irritates me, it says “made in China”.

 

I am a service connected disabled Veteran who gets most of my medical needs through the VA medical system. Inside of the VA Hospitals there is always a small store where in patients can pick up some of their needs while in the hospital. These stores also always have some clothing items in them as well. Some of these clothes are just regular street clothes but they also always have hats, jackets and T-shirts with Military sayings on them such as U.S. Army Veteran, United States Marine Veteran or things like ‘Vietnam Veteran’.

 

Here is my gripe that I am basing this article on today, all of these things have tags on them that usually say “Made In China.” I have no gripe with the people of China, I am not a fan of their government nor of their President Mr. Xi Jinping as that is a separate issue. I do not have bad feelings toward the people of China doing the work that creates these objects that I have spoken of above, my irritation is with the American companies who import these articles for the VA and for the NRA. Also, as you probably know, most of the time it is American companies who have closed their factories here in the U.S. and moved their physical operations to countries like China for their cheaper labor who are responsible for much of these Chinese imports. If you remember, even the U.S. Olympic uniforms were first made in China. The NRA wouldn’t be under the same guidelines as government agencies like the VA are or should be. The U.S. Government needs to create laws requiring that anything sold in the VA’s have to be made here in America. With the NRA it is the members who must put pressure on their Board of Directors to only buy made in America products. This is sort of like with the Trump family where the President keeps touting ‘America first’ yet every single one of his companies are located in ‘third world’ countries because he doesn’t want to have to even pay the minimum wage to American workers.

South Korea’s President, Mr. Moon Is Being Played For A Fool!!!

 

 

As most folks know, the Winter Olympics are being staged in South Korea right now. South Korea’s President, Mr. Moon appears to be being ‘played’ for a fool by the Kim family of North Korea during these games. There is a small athletic delegation from the North that are participating as we speak. Among the non-athletes of the North’s delegation is the sister of Kim Jung Un, the mass murdering vicious Dictator self-proclaimed ‘Living God’. The out of touch with reality President of South Korea has welcomed the visitors from the North with open arms. Personally I do not have a problem with allowing the athletics from the North to participate, but it should be under their own flag. Mr. Moon decided that instead of South Korean athletics and the Country of South Korea using the South Korean Flag they are using a ‘unification’ flag and allowing the North Koreans to participate as part of a ‘one Korea’ team. Thus many athletics from the South who have spent many years working their selves half to death to make their Country’s Olympic Team got ‘bumped’ off the team so the unqualified North members could take their place. I say unqualified because to become a member of a country’s team you must have gone through many different qualifying events and either winning them or placing very, very high in those contest. The North’s athletics did none of these things, they were just handed the spots by the insistence of the South Korean President. Now if in team events ‘South Korea’ is able to win a metal, North Koreans also get that metal to take back home for Kim Jung Un to brag about.

 

Enough of the Olympic’s part of this article, now down to the meat of what I am writing to you about tonight. Kim Jung Un’s sister at the direction of her brother has offered President Moon an invitation to visit him in North Korea. The North Korean delegation has been putting on what has been widely referred to as a ‘charm’ campaign this past two months. Mr. Kim of North Korea has widely made it known that he wants the two Korea’s to be ‘unified’, yet the unification is to be under his command with himself as the one and only Leader of the Korean Peninsula. Folks, this is something that the extreme majority of the citizens of South Korea do not want to ever see happen.

 

What is going on is very obvious. The UN has put a lot of sanctions on the Kim government because of their missile program and the firing of ICBM’s as well as their Nuclear Program that Mr. Kim says he will never ever give up. A ‘show’ of Mr. Kim’s intentions was obvious when the North Koreans asked the South Korean government to give them the fuel that would be needed for the ship the North Korean delegation was going to use to make the very, very short trip to the South. Kim is playing the poor, poor pitiful me song and dance trying to get pity from the South Koreans and from the UN. For years the people of North Korea have been starving to death as the very fat Kim Jung Un who just keeps getting fatter and fatter himself. If Kim Jung Un can get the very liberal President Moon to start sending food and oil to the North, that would be a huge win for Mr. Kim. If Mr. Kim can convince the very liberal and gullible President Moon to break the UN sanctions all together, then Russia and China would do the same. What if Mr. Kim can play sweet toward Mr. Moon and could convince him to throw the American military forces out of South Korea and to quit doing military exercises with the U.S. and to quit allowing U.S. ships to use South Korean Ports. It is obvious that the next thing would be the North Korean Army storming the South Korean’s thus unifying the Peninsula under Mr. Kim’s control. Of course this is if Mr. Kim cannot convince President Moon to do this voluntarily. Let’s all give this ongoing situation about  100 days, lets say until June 1st to see how this all shakes out. Another option of course would be if Mr. Kim gets President Moon up North and lets him know if the two Countries do not unite as one that he (Mr. Kim) will nuke the South ‘off the map’. Lets see what the History Books will be saying about this next 100 days. As a very dear old friend of mine used to say, “we shall see, what we shall see”.

International Olympic Committee Suspends Russia From 2018 Games

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWS)

 

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Russians won’t compete in the Pyeongchang Olympics under their own flag, if they compete at all, following a decision from the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

The IOC’s executive board announced that it has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee, a move that effectively bans the country almost two months before the opening of the Games, but created a path for individuals to compete as neutral athletes.

Those athletes will be designated as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” and wear a uniform with that designation. They will compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will play at any ceremony.

“As an athlete myself, I am feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes from all (National Olympic Committees) who are suffering from this manipulation,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

He continued, “This decision should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective and more robust anti-doping system led by WADA.”

The decision marked the first such sanction by the IOC for doping.

Watch: Live stream: IOC announces decision on sanctions against Russia

Related: Russia’s repeated denials on doping fit Putin’s narrative, experts say

The IOC’s executive board reached the decision after receiving a report from a commission chaired by Samuel Schmid, which confirmed “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia” during the Sochi Olympics.

“We have never seen any such manipulation and cheating and this has caused unprecedented damage to Olympism and to sports,” Schmid said.

The IOC’s decision also included the following sanctions:

  • The “Olympic Athletes from Russia” will be determined by a panel chaired by Valerie Fourneyron, the chair of the Independent Testing Authority that was recently established. It’s unclear when that panel will issue decisions on who is eligible to compete, but the IOC criteria require that those athletes in consideration must have undergone all pre-Games testing recommended by a taskforce advising anti-doping efforts before Pyeongchang.
  • The criteria also include that athletes must not have been disqualified or declared ineligible for a previous anti-doping rule violation, a provision that seems unlikely to withstand appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The IOC attempted to enforce the same criteria before Rio, but a CAS panel struck it down as inconsistent with a prior ruling.
  • Vitaly Mutko, the then Minister of Sport, and Yuri Nagornykh, his deputy, were excluded from the Games for their roles.
  • ROC President Alexander Zhukov was suspended as an IOC member.
  • The ROC will reimburse the IOC for costs of the investigations and it will contribute $15 million to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority.
  • Additionally, Bach said the IOC would attempt to organize ceremonies in Pyeongchang for the reallocation of medals from Sochi “to try to make up for the moments they have missed from the finish line or on the podium.”

It’s unclear whether any Russian athletes will compete as the country’s officials have said it would boycott if the IOC adopted such a decision. Should Russia boycott the decision, it would mark the first time it has missed the Olympics since boycotting in 1984.

“First of all, an Olympic boycott has never achieved anything,” said Bach, a gold medalist in 1976 in fencing who could not defend his title in 1980 because East Germany boycotted.

“Secondly, I don’t see any reason there for a boycott by the Russian athletes because we allowed the clean Russian athletes there to participate and to show that there are clean athletes in Russia. And in this way, we think that these clean Russian athletes can be more about building a bridge into the future of a cleaner sport than erecting a new wall between Russia and the Olympic movement.”

The collective action comes as an IOC commission has disqualified 25 Russian athletes from Sochi, resulting in the loss of 11 medals.

That commission, chaired by IOC member Denis Oswald, was tasked with handling individual cases.

But in the first reasoned decision released by the Oswald Commission, it accepted the findings in a report from Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren. His report last year that revealed state-sponsored doping in Russia that included sample tampering during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

McLaren’s report showed more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in a broader system to dope athletes and cover up positive tests.

That Oswald Commission called the Russian doping system “one of the worst ever blows against the integrity and reputation of the Olympic Games.”

Ultimately, the IOC’s acceptance of the evidence that Russian had run the system led it to a different decision than it reached last year when it sought to balance collective responsibility with individual justice.

Before Rio, the IOC opted not to ban Russia. Instead, it gave criteria about the eligibility of athletes and left the decisions to the international federations that govern each sport. Those decisions were reviewed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and a majority of the Russia delegation ended up competing.

“At the time of Rio, we have not the opportunity to follow due process,” Bach said.

“At the time of Rio, it was furthermore, mainly about the failure in the Moscow laboratory. Now it’s about the manipulation in an Olympic laboratory in Sochi.”

While hewing to the right of clean athletes to compete, Tuesday’s decision placed the collective responsibility on the Russian system.

The IOC’s decision is one that had been supported by more than three dozen anti-doping organizations, including the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

“Over the past three years, a high stakes game of chicken has been played between those willing to sacrifice the Olympic ideals by employing a state-directed doping program to cheat to win and, on the other side, athletes unwilling to stand silent while their hopes and dreams were stolen and the Olympic Games hijacked,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement. “Today the IOC listened to those who matter most – and clean athletes won a significant victory.

“While it is a sad day for the damage done to universal inclusion the Games represent, today’s decision recognizes the power of clean athletes and the principle of fair play. We will continue to stand with clean athletes in demanding justice and reform to the global anti-doping system to ensure this type of intentional state-supported fraud is never allowed to happen again.”