Friday, October 2, 2009


Usain Bolt
© 2009

World Athletics Championships 2007, Osaka
US athlete Torri Edwards (no. 959)during her first round heat
Also pictured: Vida Anim (no. 511) and Oludamola Osayomi
Author Eckhard Pecher (Arcimboldo)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

100 m (one hundred metres) is the shortest outdoor sprint race distance in athletics. The reigning 100 m Olympic champion is often named "the fastest man/woman in the world". The 200 m record had often been at a faster average speed than the 100m record.
Sprinters typically reach top speed after somewhere between 50–60 m. Their speed then slows progressively towards the finish line. Maintaining that top speed for as long as possible is a primary focus of training for the 100 m.
In the past, athletes often competed over 100 yards (91.4 m) instead of 100 m, especially in the United States. This shorter distance is now obsolete. Indoor sprints are often run over 60 m (sometimes 50 m or 55 m) as few facilities have a 100 m indoor straight.
Major 100 m races, such as at the Olympic Games, attract much attention, particularly when the world record is thought to be within reach.
The men's world record has been improved upon twelve times since the introduction of electronic timing in 1968. The current men's world record of 9.58 s is held by Usain Bolt of Jamaica, set at the 2009 World Athletics Championships final on 16 August 2009, breaking his own previous world record by 0.11 s. The current women's world record of 10.49 s was set by Florence Griffith-Joyner of the USA, in Indianapolis, Indiana, on 16 July 1988.

©Copyright Greynium Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Fflorence Griffith Joyner
© Aftenposten

Florence and Al Joyner
Photo by Tony Duffy/Getty Images

Jim Hines was the first man to break the 10-second barrier in the 100 m, recording the first sub-10 second, electronically timed run to win the 100 metres at the 1968 Olympics.

Jim Hines
1968 Mexico Olympics

The 100 m records have been dominated by runners of West African descent—indeed, every single male world record holder since the introduction of electronic timing in 1968 has been of West African descent
For many years a sprinter was disqualified if responsible for two false starts individually. However, this rule allowed some major races to be restarted so many times that the sprinters started to lose focus. The current rule, introduced in February 2003, is that, after one false start, anyone responsible for a subsequent false start is disqualified immediately. This rule has led to some sprinters deliberately false-starting to gain a psychological advantage: an individual with a slower reaction time might false-start, forcing the faster starters to wait and be sure of hearing the gun for the subsequent start, thereby losing some of their advantage. In order to avoid such abuse, the IAAF will implement a change to the rule from the 2010 season, so that the first false starting athlete is immediately disqualified. This proposal was met with objections when first raised in 2005, on the grounds that it would not leave any room for innocent mistakes. Justin Gatlin commented, "Just a flinch or a leg cramp could cost you a year's worth of work."

Top thirteen all-time athletes—men:
(Updated 20 September 2009)
9.58 +0.9 Usain Bolt, Jamaica, 16 August 2009 (Berlin)
9.69 +2.0 Tyson Gay, United States, 20 September 2009 (Shanghai)
9.72 +0.2 Asafa Powell Jamaica 2 September 2008 Lausanne
9.79 +0.1 Maurice Greene, United States, 16 June 1999 (Athens)
9.84 +0.7 Donovan Bailey, Canada, 27 July 1996 (Atlanta)
9.84 +0.2 Bruny Surin, Canada, 22 August 1999 (Seville)
9.85 +1.2 Leroy Burrell, United States, 6 July 1994 (Lausanne)
9.85 +0.6 Justin Gatlin, United States, 22 August 2004 (Athens)
9.85 +1.7 Olusoji Fasuba, Nigeria, 12 May 2006 (Doha)
9.86 +1.2 Carl Lewis, United States, 25 August 1991 (Tokyo)
9.86 −0.4 Frankie Fredericks, Namibia, 3 July 1996, Lausanne
9.86 +1.8 Ato Boldon, Trinidad and Tobago, 19 April 1998 (Walnut)
9.86 +0.6 Francis Obikwelu, Portugal, 22 August 2004 (Athens)
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Usain Bolt:
Three world records and three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics transformed the Jamaican into a global icon. But Bolt was hardly a one-hit wonder last year. He lost just one race out 15 (by 0.01) and clocked four of the five fastest 100m times and the five fastest 200m times in the world. He has already predicted his 100m world record will fall in 2009.
(© 2009 Universal Sports)

Usain Bolt (R) of Jamaica eases past Asafa Powell of Jamiaca
Mens 100 m race during the IAAF Golden League
Weltklasse Zurich Stadion Letzigrund
August 28, 2009 in Zurich, Switzerland.
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe)

Tyson Gay:
With an American record 9.77-second clocking in the 100 m quarterfinals and a wind-aided 9.68 in the finals at the Olympic Trials, it appeared Gay was on course for an epic showdown with Bolt in Beijing. But days later, the double World Champion pulled a hamstring in the heats of the 200m. Adding insult to the injury, Gay was bounced in the 100m semifinals and dropped the baton in the 4x100 m at the Olympics. A knee injury set his training for 2009 back six weeks so a lot will hinge on his health
(© 2009 Universal Sports)

Copyright 2007

Tyson Gay of USA beats Asafa Powell of Jamiaca
Mens 100 m Day one, IAAF World Athletics Final
Kaftanzoglio stadium on September 12, 2009 in Thessaloniki, Greece
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe)

Asafa Powell:
The former world record holder won nine 100 m races during 2008 and clocked a season-best 9.72 seconds at the Lausanne Grand Prix. The bad news was that the Jamaican came up empty again in the 100 m at the Olympics in Beijing. He says he has been working to correct all of his issues and it should be interesting to see how fast he can run in 2009 now that the pressure is no longer on him.
(© 2009 Universal Sports)

Asafa Powell (L) of Jamaica ahead of Tyson Gay of USA
Mens 100 m IAAF Golden League Memorial Van Damme
King Baudouin Stadium on September 4, 2009 in Brussels, Belgium
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images Europe)

Mens 100 m medalists, Sydney 2000.
L to R: Ato Boldon, Maurice Greene, Obadele Thompson
Author: Jimmy Harris (Blog)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Donovan Bailey of Canada
Frankie Fredericks of Namibia
Dennis Mitchell of the U.S.
Photograph by: Michael Cooper, Allsport/Getty Images

Carl Lewis:
Sports Illustrated named Lewis ''Olympian of the Century,'' and with good reason. As a long jumper, Lewis was one of only three athletes to win the same individual event at four Olympics, starting in 1984. At the Los Angeles Games, he matched Jess Owens' 1936 four-gold-medal performance in the 100- and 200-meter races, the long jump and as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team. All told, he won 10 Olympic medals -- nine gold, one silver -- as a runner and long-jumper.
(Sports Illustrated)

Carl Lewis
'Olympian of the Century'
Photographed by: Manny Millan/SI

Frankie Fredericks
100 m Men Final, Florø Friidrettsfestival
Jan Otto Hovden © 2002

Top ten all-time athletes—women:
(Updated 20 September 2009)
10.49 0.0 Griffith-Joyner United States 16 July 1988 (Indianapolis)
10.64 +1.2 Carmelita Jeter United States 20 September 2009 (Shanghai)
10.65 +1.1 Marion Jones United States 12 September 1998 (Johannesburg)
10.73 +0.1 Shelly-Ann Fraser Jamaica 17 August 2009 (Berlin)
10.73 +2.0 Christine Arron France 19 August 1998 (Budapest)
10.74 +1.3 Merlene Ottey Jamaica 7 September 1996 (Milan)
10.75 +0.4 Kerron Stewart Jamaica 10 July 2009 (Rome)
10.76 +1.7 Evelyn Ashford United States 22 August 1984 (Zürich)
10.77 +0.9 Irina Privalova Russia 6 July 1994 (Lausanne)
10.77 +0.7 Ivet Lalova Bulgaria 19 June 2004 (Plovdiv)
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

100 m Final
Indianapolis, 17-6-1988

(L to R) Stephanie Durst of USA, Carmelita Jeter of USA
Chandra Sturrup of Bahamas and Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad
and Tobago
Aviva London Grand Prix Track and Field
Crystal Palace Stadium, July 25, 2009, London, England
(Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images Europe)

Marion Jones
Images from

Shelly-Ann Fraser:
The 21-year-old Jamaican was arguably the breakout star of 2008, shaving more than a half second off her personal-best in the 100 m. She stunned the world when she sped to victory at the Beijing Olympics in 10.78 seconds, then backed it up by winning 100m gold at the IAAF World Athletics Final in 10.94. Fraser won eight of the 13 races she entered last year.
(© 2009 Universal Sports)

Shelly-Ann Fraser of Jamaica
Women's 100 m gold in 10.78 seconds
National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest
Beijing 2008 Olympic Game, Aug. 17, 2008
Copyright The Beijing Organizing Committee
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad

Merlene Ottey, Marion Jones and Melinda Gainsford-Taylor
Monaco, 1997
Merlene Ottey Tribute

(Lto R) Joey Duck of Great Britain, Marion Wagner of Germany
Allyson Felix of USA, Kelly Ann Baptiste of Trinidad & Tobago
Women's 100 Metres Heat 1
Aviva London Grand Prix Track and Field meeting
Crystal Palace Stadium, July 25, 2009, London, England
(July 24, 2009 - Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images Europe)

Evelyn Ashford
Copyright © 2009 Time Inc

The development of performances in the 100 m sprint has shown a practically constant level just under the 10.00 s mark for men and 11.00 s for women. This appears to be the biologically achievable limit for human sprint performance.
The sprinter’s goal is to develop the highest possible horizontal velocity. As an example this velocity is developed in the 100m sprint within 43 - 46 strides (men) and 47 - 52 strides (women). A stride consists of a stance and a flight phase. The sprinter’s horizontal propulsion is only produced during the stance phase. The push-off leg presses against the resistance of the floor in a backward-downward direction ("action") and the interactive forces result in the horizontal propulsion of the body in a forward-upward direction ("reaction").
The sprinter’s goal is to develop the highest possible horizontal velocity. As an example this velocity is developed in the 100m sprint within 43 - 46 strides (men) and 47 - 52 strides (women). A stride consists of a stance and a flight phase. The sprinter’s horizontal propulsion is only produced during the stance phase. The push-off leg (see figure) presses against the resistance of the floor in a backward-downward direction ("action") and the interactive forces result in the horizontal propulsion of the body in a forward-upward direction ("reaction").
The stance phase is prepared during the flight phase. It is important that all forces acting against the running direction (e.g. resisting movements) are minimized. During the flight phase the legs must actively swing downwards - backwards because from a subjective point of view it seems to the sprinter that the ground is coming towards him. The braking forces are minimized because the backward swinging feet and the "retreating" ground have approximately the same velocity.
There is only little time available for the sprinter to develop force during the stance phase. The stance phase where the foot is on the ground is only 0.08 s - 0.09 s long in the phase of maximum velocity. However, the greatest possible power must be produced in this short time for forward propulsion. Forces of up to 3.5 times the body weight in vertical direction and a single body weight in horizontal direction are acting during the stance phase. This explains the great importance of strength in sprinting which is comprised predominantly of maximum strength and speed strength.
However, stronger legs must also have a correspondingly strong upper body because (according to biomechanical laws) the swinging arms must produce equal opposite forces to those of the legs. This explains the generally very strong appearance of sprinters.
The sprinting velocity is mathematically determined by the product of stride length and stride rate. These two factors interact: after they have reached a certain level after a phase of mutually increasing (in the first 50 m) an increase in either parameter will result in a corresponding decrease of the other, i.e. if the sprinter increases his stride length after 50 m then the stride rate must decrease and vice versa. The extent of these changes varies individually depending upon physical capabilities, training level, form of training and body build.
During the reaction phase the highly concentrated sprinter uses the resistance of the starting blocks to initially accelerate from a complete rest position. An explosive force production of the legs in a very short time is vital for a successful start. After the start signal the sprinter must develop horizontal forces reaching up to 1.5 times body weight in less than 0.4 s . The reaction time (the time between the start signal to the first movement of the sprinter) is of relatively small importance to the overall result (the reaction time has values of 0.12 to 0.18 s which constitutes only 1 to 2% of a 100 m time). However, the desired psychological advantage at the beginning of the race can last right through to the finish.
After leaving the starting blocks the sprinter increases his running speed in the acceleration phase by continually increasing stride length and stride rate with a clear forward lean position. During this phase men achieve stride rates of up to 4.6 strides per second, women reach 4.8 strides per second. The length of the acceleration phase increases at higher performance levels and this is the most important phase for the race performance. Top sprinters reach their maximum speed after about 60 - 70 m (men) and 50 - 60 m (women).
In the phase of maximum velocity (at 60 - 90 m) the sprinters cover a distance of 20 - 30 m at their highest speed. This is where the maximum speeds of 12 m/s (men) and 11 m/s (women) are achieved. Stride length and stride rate vary amongst sprinters and reach personal optimal ratios. Ground contact times decrease.
The final 10 - 20 m constitute the deceleration phase. Fatigue especially of the central nervous system leads to a decreased stride rate which the sprinter attempts to compensate with increased stride length. Some sprinters appear to get faster at the end of a race which is only an illusion resulting from varying rates of fatigue. In recent years it has, however, been noticeable that the maximum speed of top athletes can be maintained with minor fluctuations until the finish. It remains unclear whether this is the result of modified training.
The finish is the decisive stage of the race especially with minimal differences in ability. Competition rules state that the time is based upon the trunk passing the finish line. A strong forward lean is an advantage to a sprinter. This is achieved by flexing the hips while simultaneously bringing back the arms. The forward lean can lead to forward torque which the sprinter must compensate and which occasionally leads to falls after the finish.
(© 1996-2009 International Association of Athletics Federations - IAAF)

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