The recent slew of WRs in the 100m over the past couple years has given rise to the notion that 100m performances have reached a hyper-speed acceleration. The data doesn’t really support this though. In fact, if there was ever a time warranting suspicion it should have been 1996. I’ve taken some data that I found over at Track & Field News message board and put together some charts and figures. There’s some interesting information here. The most obvious observations are:
- That there’s been a slight downward trend over the past 30 years.
- That Olympiad years tend to produce MORE top performances but not necessarily faster ones.
- The Top 50 and Top 100 times seem to be highly correlated…meaning that they likely aren’t being skewed by either side of the spectrum getting faster or slower.
Take a look at the charts and graphs. What are you seeing?