Mike Hagley
9.58 is ridiculous. will it ever be beaten?
The new york times did a writeup of past 100 meter times that offers some perspective here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/05/sports/olympics/the-100-meter-dash-one-race-every-medalist-ever.html?_r=0
The olympic gold medal time in 1896 was 12.6 seconds. In 1906 it was 11.3 and it wasn't until the 1920's that someone posted a time under 11 seconds in the olympics. I have a slightly over 11 second 100m time that would have qualified me for gold in the olympics ~100 years ago and I outweigh the early 1900s sprinters by a decent amount. There are kids in high school close to breaking under 10 seconds now.
Progress will slow but his 9.58 time will fall.
I would be quietly curious as to what the highest possible speed is for a biologically enhanced human being. Thinking 5 seconds flat wold be a nice goal.
Not mechanically assisted by any means, so no leg extensions, or external power sources or external energy storage-release tech.
What I'm talking about here is free use of any performance enhancing chemical or process including DNA augmentation, for any length of time in preparation for the one event. Like a Bane (batman reference) if you will, minus external pumps.
Athletes are not allowed to take anything one hour before the event as the object is to test to some degree the athlete, not the ability of the chemicals to do all the work.
The athlete would of course have to consider options in preparing his body so as not to do any long term damage to his organs and ligaments. The stakes can be a lot higher. Rather then the paltry amount athletes receive now, give then half a mill or more for their winnings.
Bob Stuart
I can't wait for the explanation of how he maintains a constant force against the ground while his feet are in the air. All this article did was make me wonder what someone else could have done with the source information.
What is this nonsense about a taller man incurring more air drag? Its clearly not a factor and, after a proper analysis, it will become clear that longer legs (well muscled and trained to use fast-twitch energy) are a key component of success in the sprinting game. After all, you wouldn't expect a Shetland Pony to win at the Kentucky Derby...despite the fact that a larger thoroughbred might require more force to counter whatever actual differential in air drag.
Not to take away from his incredible accomplishments, but those figures are a little exaggerated. For instance, the terminal velocity of a human body is ~60m/S He s running at 12m/S, eg. his drag would be (12 / 60) ^ 2 * 900N (weight), or approximately 40N
At 12m/S his power would be ~480W, a bit under 1HP These figures are more in line with typical bicycle riding as well. A horse power on a bicycle goes a bit faster.
I think the final limit to going faster is how fast can ones legs reciprocate? Thats where most of the power gets wasted.
Fritz Menzel
As a tall athletic person this is very interesting to me. I'm an elder now, but as a kid I could NEVER run the 100 in less than 12 seconds - in other words, I was slow. Therefore I always theorized it was because of my ability to 'horizontalize' my strong vertical jump that I could outrun anybody in the opening seconds, e.g., from home plate to first base in softball, where the only infield hit I couldn't beat out was a hard one-bouncer to the pitcher. This seems to support my theory. But Bolt's ability to sustain that is otherworldly and I just love watching him run!
re; Alzie
Bicycles are more efficient than walking or running because the energy you expend just resisting gravity gets converted to forward motion.
re; Alzie part 2
Also the energy used to lift the leg can be turned into forward motion as well. There are also mechanical advantages to using the lower leg muscles rather than thigh muscles That can not be matched while on foot.
We are not far off the time when no human being will be prepared to live the life of isolation from humanity that will be necessary to be an unaugmented human athlete. Its already the case that any athlete that takes a common cold cure will be hounded out of their profession as a filthy scum drug cheat. Frankly you are watching the last days of a quaint human activity. Primitive human athletics.
Thats not to say that Bolt isn't a supremely admirable human being which he is, but he is one of the last of a kind.