May 18, 2009

Usain Bolt does it again… (with a nice easy smile)

this, from Science of Sport…

The 150m dissected – splits and projections

Bolt’s running is anything but lead-footed. He ran the first 100m in 9.90 seconds, which is an extra-ordinary time and a sign of things to come. But even more amazing, the final 100m (from 50m to the finish line) were clocked in an astonishing 8.72 seconds! That is being reported, though it’s so fast I’m almost sceptical. The splits, as recorded during the race, were:

* 50m – 5.64s (this compares to 5.50s in Beijing, by the way)
* 100m – 9.90s (a split of 4.26 s. In Beijing last year, Bolt’s last 50m of his 100m was 4.19s, including the infamous celebrations)
* 150 – 14.35s (split of 4.45 s)

I have tried hard to find the analysis we did on Usain Bolt’s 200m win in Beijing, because I am almost certain we looked at his splits from that race, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find the post in question. However, I’m pretty sure his last 100m was not as quick as 8.72 seconds (it would mean his first 100m took 10.58 seconds, which is much too slow). But the last 100m can be misleading because of the different race distances, and so to me, the first 100m in 9.90 secs is more intriguing, because few others have produced that form so early in the season.

Bolt has said he can take the record down to 9.4 seconds – it’s not exactly unusual for guys (especially sprinters) to make predictions about themselves (every sprinter worth his salt knocks a tenth of his time in order to hype himself up), but Bolt certainly has a lot to live up to, with hype and attention that has rarely been given to a track and field athlete.

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