It's not 100m, 4X100m is the fastest race

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Yusuf, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Which is the fastest race of the Olympics? You are wrong if you think it's the men 100m sprint. The event might be the yardstick to decide planet's fastest man but it is not the fastest race. In terms of speed the men 4X100m is always faster than the 100m race.

    In the 2012 Olympics Usain Bolt clocked 9.63s to finish the 100m sprint. The time taken by the four sprinters of Jamaican 4X100m was 36.84s. Evidently the average time taken by each athlete to finish 100 m was 9.21 sec- much faster than Bolt's 9.63s.

    Similarly in Beijing games the time taken by Bolt to finish 100m was 9.69 sec while he ran much faster in 4X100m in which the average time taken by each athlete to complete 100m was 9.28s. Was one of his teammates running faster than Bolt? The answer is everyone except the starter was running faster than Bolt. Even Bolt clocked lesser time than his 100m run.

    Olympics fastest race tables
    Year
    Host
    Men 100m (s)
    Speed (kmph)
    Men 4x100m (s)
    Time per 100m
    Speed (kmph)
    1988
    Seoul
    9.92
    36.29
    38.19
    9.55
    37.71
    1992
    Barcelona
    9.96
    36.14
    37.40
    9.35
    38.50
    1996
    Atlanta
    9.84
    36.59
    37.69
    9.42
    38.21
    2000
    Sydney
    9.87
    36.47
    37.61
    9.40
    38.29
    2004
    Athens
    9.85
    36.55
    38.07
    9.52
    37.83
    2008
    Beijing
    9.69
    37.15
    37.10
    9.28
    38.81
    2012
    London
    9.63
    37.38
    36.84
    9.21
    39.09







    10m Splits
    Bolt
    Powell
    1st
    1.89
    1.87
    2nd
    0.99
    1.03
    3rd
    0.9
    0.92
    4th
    0.86
    0.88
    5th
    0.83
    0.85
    6th
    0.82
    0.84
    7th
    0.81
    0.84
    8th
    0.82
    0.85
    9th
    0.83
    0.86
    10th
    0.83
    0.9
    Total
    9.58
    9.84
    Source: IAAF




















    To understand the anomaly one has to understand the mechanics of sprinting and how 100m race is different from 4X100m relay. If we analyse the spilt timings of Usain Bolt's world record performance in Berlin it becomes clear that the slowest part of a 100m sprint is the first 10m.

    In the 2009 race Bolt was slowest in the first 10m which he finished in 1.89 seconds. He finished the next 10m in 0.99s- half of the time taken to finish the first split. Similarly Powel, also running in the race, was slowest in the first 10m which he finished in 1.87 seconds. Both Bolt and Powel took less than a second to finish each of the remaining 9 splits. So what happens in the next 10 meters? Does the athlete slow down considerably or he maintains his speed? Now looking at Michael Johnson's splits for his world record performance it appears that it's easy to maintain the speed once the athlete has accelerated. Johnson finished first 10m in 1.766 seconds, 10th in 0.873s and 11th in 0.88s.

    He completed his 12th and 13th split in 0.889s and 0.893s respectively. Looking at these numbers one can see that the first 10m is the slowest while there is no significant difference in the athletes speed in the 11th, 12th and the 13th split. 4X100m relay exploits these basics of sprinting mechanism and that's why the average timing is better than 100m race.

    In a typical 4X100m relay an athlete runs more than 100 meters. For the three outgoing athletes who will receive the baton the track is divided into two zones- a 10m acceleration zone and a subsequent 20m changeover zone in which the baton is handed over. All baton receivers put a check mark and starts acceleration once the baton carrier hits it. The baton is typically exchanged 5m before the end of the changeover zone. Various estimates indicate that the first athlete runs for 105m while the next two run 125m before exchanging the baton.

    It's not 100m, 4X100m is the fastest race - The Times of India
     
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  3. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    400 m is definetely the most difficult run... which falls between short runs and long runs...
     
  4. Apollyon

    Apollyon Führer Senior Member

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    It's because during changeover the next runner can start running at 90m mark (changeover mark) and gain 10m of acceleration :taunt:

     

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