Cuba in Tokyo: Day 8 of the Olympic Games

Photo: Michael Kappeler/EFE.

It was a nautical change from the main event in track and field, but spectators were unlikely to notice inside London’s Olympic Stadium for the 2012 Olympics. They were understandably distracted watching Usain Bolt cross the finish line in the men’s 100m competition.

The Jamaican star won another gold medal that night and set the Olympic record for this race in 9.63 seconds.

Seven of the eight runners-up in that final crossed the finish line in under 10 seconds, which is unprecedented. The 10-second barrier was first broken in 1968, but today it remains a remarkable achievement for runners, and a badge of honor that sets them apart from their peers.

The number of contestants under the age of 10 has exploded in recent years. According to data from World Athletics, the sport’s governing body, in the four decades between 1968 and 2008, only 67 athletes managed to break the barrier. Another 70 will join the club in the next 10 years.

And in the two years to early July 2021, another 17 men competed in the first U-10 races. The women’s equivalent barrier of 11 seconds is also being broken at an increasing pace. What’s going on? This is how an article is BBC Mundo.

The final electrifying 100m race at London 2012.

club expansion

Scientists like Haake believe it’s a combination of factors that start with increased participation in track events around the world and access to better training methods.

The evidence is that the Under-10 club has expanded beyond major powers such as the United States and Jamaica and teams such as Great Britain and Canada, which have won at least one Olympic gold medal in the men’s 100m.

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Footwear, Tracks and Sports Science

The technology was useful. Today’s runners run in lighter shoes. The latest models can weigh less than 150 grams and are made of completely different materials.

One example is the collaboration between German shoes Puma and the Mercedes Formula One team, which resulted in racing shoes with carbon fiber soles, the same material that was used to design multi-time world champion Lewis Hamilton’s car.

Running tracks have also come a long way since the days when elite athletes raced on dirt or grass in competitions.

Synthetic tracks made their debut at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, offering more protection to the athletes’ joints and promising a trampoline effect that would lead to faster times. At those same Games, American runner Jim Hines became the first human to run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds, more precisely: 9.95.

Tracks are faster because the shape of the vulcanized rubber granules used in surface construction is now considered.

Science has also influenced nutrition and training. Today’s runners can be thoroughly analyzed and adjustments made to technique and reaction times. Researchers They even identified the muscles that are most important to runners’ success.

Is the barrier psychic too?

The U-10 club’s expansion in number and variety also appears to make the barrier less intimidating for athletes.

Medal Mastery

Usain Bolt farewell in London. Photo: EFE.

It is clear that these developments are not an automatic guarantee of success in breaking the barrier. So far, for example, many countries, such as India, and even an entire continent (South America) still have to produce a male athlete breaking 10 seconds or a sprinter breaking the 11 under 11 barrier.

In fact, the expansion of the U-10 club has not altered the competitive balance when it comes to winning medals.

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