Taller, heavier: the speedy evolution of the fastest people on the planet
By Richard Macey and Deborah Smith
August 18, 2009
A GIANT, standing more than two metres tall, will eventually smash the nine-second barrier in the 100 metre sprint for men.
Kevin Norton, a professor of exercise science at the University of South Australia, admitted yesterday he may not live to see such a race, but he is sure it will happen, with sprinters growing ever taller and faster.
Asked how Jamaica’s Usain Bolt shattered his own world record in Berlin this week, running the distance in 9.58 seconds, Dr Norton said: ”It is pretty clear that he is an unusually tall sprinter.”
Although Bolt did not have quite the same ‘‘leg power” as some other runners, his 196-centimetre stature meant ”he takes less steps. The guy who came second took more steps.”
Top sprinters have grown at more than three times the rate of most people in the past century.
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Published July 2012