ANALYSIS OF THE SPRINT EVENTS100m MEN
In London we ha the opportunity to watch the best race of sprint all time.
The average of the top 7 (we have to exclude Asafa Powell because was injured during the race) was an astonishing 9”8243, and for the first time 7 athletes ran under 10” in the same race.
The wind was favorable, but inside the legal limit : +1.5m per second. On the other side, the temperature was a little bit cold, and arguably we can think that, with 5-8° degrees more, the World Record could be bettered.
Like in Beijing and in Berlin, USAIN BOLT demonstrated to be, without any discussion, the number one in the history of sprint. Also if his season, till London, was not perfect, since he suffered for some problem in his back, and was not in full training for following all his commitments, one month of full focused training was enough for confirming his supremacy.
USAIN BOLT showed special qualities from very young age. He is the World Record holder of 200m for all the categories, and was able to win World Junior Championships already in 2002, before being sixteen.
Born on 28th June 1986, Usain has an unusual morphology for a sprinter, being tall 1.96m. I saw him winning World Junior in Kingston (18th July 2002) in 20”58, and immediately thought he had to become the new WR holder of…400m. So, I saw his talent, but at that time nobody could look at him like sprinter of 100m. He was very slim (no more than 73 kg), and didn’t have a good start, because the length of his legs.
I was not surprised to see him winning World Youth Championships in 2003 in Sherbrooke in 20”40, and to read he was able, one week later, to better the World Youth Record with 20”13. It was also normal to see him improving in 2004, with a new World Junior Record of 19”93 at the beginning of the season (Hamilton, 11th April). I was, instead, curious to see him running his first 100m in Rethymno (Greece) in 2007, winning in 10”03. In this transformation from talented athlete of 400m to sprinter, the most important role was plaid by his new Coach : Glenn Mills, without any doubt one of the bests in the World.
Usain started the Olympic season 2008 with an astonishing 9”76 on 3rd May, but became the best sprinter when in New York, on 31st May, in a night with cold and rain, bettered the WR running 9”72.
After this, only triumphs, with victories and World Records : 9”69 in Olympics, 9”58 in WCh, till the disqualification at the start last year in Daegu.
When I see people speaking of doping because isn’t human to run so fast, I have a very simple question :
Did you look at the body of Usain compared with the other sprinters ? We don’t need any genius for understanding that Bolt has something the other don’t have. So, he has a gift from the nature, and was able to work hard for becoming a legend, in spite of his behavior that seems only too much superficial.
In London, everybody knows athletics (and sprint in particular) could understand from the heats he was in top shape again. The heat, won in 10”09, was a normal stride used in training. He was totally relaxed, and never pushed. In the semi, with a favorable wind of 1m/sec, he floated with a very easy 9”87, showing to have bigger room of improvement compared with Blake, Gatlin and Gay.
In the final, his start was good, and the phase between 60m and the end perfect. In this occasion, Bolt used exactly 41 steps (his foot arrived on the finish lane), such as in Berlin ’09.
With this final, Bolt has now 3 times under 9”70, 11 under 9”80, 26 under 9”90 and 35 under 10”00, with an amazing average of his best 10 performances of 9”725.
YOHAN BLAKE confirmed he’s the best in the World after Bolt. Born on 3rd Dec 1989, having a totally different morphology (181 x 73 kg), Blake runs using a very high frequency. However, he’s not one of the best at the start : the most impressive part of his race is between 20m and 60m, when is able to produce a strong acceleration, reaching a speed that maintains also in the last part (where Bolt is still able to accelerate). Blake was very easy in his semi (9”85 with wind +1.7 m/sec), so it was normal to run the final in his PB of 9”75. With this performance, Blake ran 3 times under 9”80, 12 times under 9”90 and 26 times under 10”00, with an average of 9”837 for the best 10 competitions of his career.
In the final he was not relaxed like in the semi, because had to fight against JUSTIN GATLIN. The Olympic Champion of 2004, and double World Champion of 2005, that came back in 2010 after 4 years ban for doping, was clearly in the best shape of his life. Born on 10th Feb 1982, very powerful (185 x 79 kg), has a strong acceleration, that allowed him to win the title of 60m indoor in World Championships 2003 and 2012. He always demonstrated to be able to peak at the right time. Before London, in spite of 4 years out of competitions, he put together 1 Gold (100m), 1 silver (4x100) and 1 bronze (200m) in Olympic Games, all in Athens 2004 ; 2 Gold in WCh (both 100m and 200m in 2005), and 2 Gold in World Indoor. In the final, he was very close Blake, running for the first time under 9”80 (9”79). With his 3rd place, he has now 2 performances at 9”80 or faster, 10 under 9”90 and 30 under 10”00, with an average of 9”862 in his best 10 competitions.
For 1/100 only TYSON GAY was not able to win an Olympic medal. Despite having 3 Gold in WCh, all in 2007 (won 100m, 200m and 4x100m), and one silver in 2009 (100m), in Olympic he previously had the same position of London : 4th, and probably it was the last opportunity for a medal in Olympics.
Gay, one of the most serious and constant sprinters, had to face many problems during the last 3 years, due to an injury in one hip. He also had a surgery for trying to solve the problem. Able to train very hard, in the past stronger in 200m than in 100m, had to prepare the shortest distance only because no more able to run a turn without feeling pain. In his career, Tyson (the oldest of the group, being born on 3rd Aug 1982, and the most “normal” for size, 173 x 75 kg) was able running, in all conditions, 2 times under 9”70 (one with too strong wind), 13 times under 9”80, 25 times under 9”90 and 43 times under 10”00, with an average of his best 10 performances of 9”778.
Another very interesting sprinter, new at top level, is RYAN BAILEY. Born on 13th April 1989, with powerful morphology (188 x 82 kg), was member of the US Team in the World Junior Championships 2008 in the relay 4x400m. In London, he ran twice 9”88, equaling his old PB of 2010 in Rieti. Bailey can be, in the future, the best sprinter of US : fast in his acceleration, has a good specific endurance, and is also able to finish fast.
Two mentions for CHURANDY MARTINA, at his PB of 9”91 in the semifinal, and for RICHARD THOMPSON, again in the final after his Olympic Silver in Beijing.
The full description of the various rounds for the finalists is as follows :
Heat Semifinal Final
BOLT 10”09 (+0.4) 9”87 (+1.00) 9”63 (+1.5)
BLAKE 10”00 (+1.3) 9”85 (+1.7) 9”75 (+1.5)
GATLIN 9”97 (+0.7) 9”82 (+0.7) 9”79 (+1.5)
GAY 10”08 (-1.4) 9”90 (+1.7) 9”80 (+1.5)
RYAN BAILEY 9”88 (+1.5) 9”96 (+1.0) 9”88 (+1.5)
MARTINA 10”20 (0.0) 9”91 (+0.7) 9”94 (+1.5)
THOMPSON 10”14 (-1.4) 10”02 (+1.0) 9”98 (+1.5)
POWELL 10”04 (+0.4) 9”94 (+0.7)