Bolt dream of 9.4sec mark is possible - study

Jul 25, 2012
Jamaica's Usain Bolt, pictured in May 2012. Olympic sprint champion Bolt's dream of completing the 100m in 9.4sec is feasible, according to a Dutch mathematical study whose findings were unveiled Wednesday.

Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt's dream of completing the 100m in 9.4sec is feasible, according to a Dutch mathematical study whose findings were unveiled Wednesday.

As the Jamaican prepares to defend his Olympic title in , and also better his world mark of 9.58sec, the authors of a Tilburg University study concluded he could realise his objective of shaving another two tenths of a second off his current record.

"Usain Bolt has said he is targeting 9.4sec for the 100 metres and according to our results this is achievable as the absolute limit for a at the moment is 9.36sec," one of the study authors, Sander Smeets, told AFP.

The study used various mathematical and statistical models collated from the best times posted over 100m by the 1,034 best male athletes going back to 1991, Smeets explained.

The new study draws on an earlier one which Smeets carried out in 2008 which then suggested that the "ultimate world record" would be 9.51sec.

However, "in 2008, Usain Bolt's records were not included in our data, which we published before the (Beijing) ," Smeets explained, adding the original version drew on data from only 762 athletes.

He added he hoped the new study would "inspire" the likes of Bolt to drive the time down.

Bolt, 25, said in April he believed that if he can retain his Beijing crowns -- he also won the 200m and the 4x100m relay title -- he would be regarded as a "living legend."

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User comments : 7

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nuge
5 / 5 (2) Jul 25, 2012
If anyone can do it, Bolt can. However I think we might be reaching the limits of natural human ability at this point.
Lurker2358
3 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2012
Certain genetic or congenital anomalies can allow some humans to perform far above "normal" ranges in a specific task or group of tasks.

Stan Lee's "Super Humans" show explored real world people with either genetic or learned "super feats". In some cases genetics testing, lactic acid tests, MRI or other scientific tests proved that the athletes in fact did have "super human" genetics or congenital benefits.

We may be seeing these "super athletes" with many records broken in the modern era because now career paths and hobbies are much more "self selected" than they were in previous decades and certainly more than previous centuries. Additionally, with a higher population the range of variation of recombination of different genes that make a person better at a single even for different reasons would be higher, and more people run because they like running, so they are more likely to be "discovered" by a track coach if they have exceptional interest or talent.
Squirrel
3 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2012
Maybe for the Usain Bolt genotype but everyone has a different genetic athletic potential--the starting line is not straight but genetically crocked. Who is interested in a "living legend genotype"?

Is it more or less natural to have the luck to have performance enhancing genes than to be aided by performance enhancing drugs?
CreepyD
5 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2012
There is a slight problem I can forsee though.. If human limits are reached, and world records can no longer be broken, people might tire of watching and these sports might die.
As usual for the time being I suspect the 100m final will be one of the most anticipated events of the olympics :)
Lurker2358
3 / 5 (2) Jul 26, 2012
Maybe for the Usain Bolt genotype but everyone has a different genetic athletic potential--the starting line is not straight but genetically crocked. Who is interested in a "living legend genotype"?


I would think that understanding a "super gene" for muscle or nerve action might prove useful some day in the treatment of dystrophy and neuropathy diseases.

Here's one, why is it that the previous generation in my extended family is all backwards and acts like they'd rather it was 50 years ago, while some of those closest to my age are all "can't wait for the next breakthrough in (whatever their favorite thing is)."

Why do I prefer science and technology, while my mother somehow finds tending farm animals entertaining, and would apparently rather do that than anything else?

I like meats, but keep the animals out of my sight and smell range. Beside there are more intelligent and more qualified commercial farmers with better hygiene and almost unbeatable prices anyway.
Shifty0x88
not rated yet Jul 27, 2012
"There is a slight problem I can forsee though.. If human limits are reached, and world records can no longer be broken, people might tire of watching and these sports might die." --CreepyD

We will watch to see them fail, or we will watch to hope they finally do break the record for {insert favorite olympic event here}

National pride will never get old, and we will continue to watch for years to come. Even if they reach the human limit, we will either evolve to the point where we are better, or we will just have to win without breaking records.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 27, 2012
If human limits are reached, and world records can no longer be broken, people might tire of watching and these sports might die.

Most people who are into sports watch for the competition and not for the records (or other statistics). So even if you took all the record stuff out of it people would still watch it.

National pride will never get old,

Maybe it will get old - once we realize how stupid it is to even have nations.