Tyson Gay’s 100m performance in Eugene

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  • Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #14829

    We’ve recently been spoiled by the amazing feats of Asafa Powell’s 9.72 personal best in Lausanne and Usain Bolt’s string of sub 9.85s. So much so that it’s easy to forget that someone other than these two actually produced the fastest 100m ever. EVAR. Tyson Gay. Remember him? He’s that guy who didn’t make the final at the Olympics due to lack of race fitness caused by an injury at the U.S.

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    novacat87 on #72061

    Thanks for the great analysis. This is why Elitetrack is the best place to educate oneself about our sport. I have been a lurker for years and have gained immeasurably from the content. I think your comments regarding the prelim, when tyson had to attempt to reaccelerate at 90m, was particularly trenchant. Specifically the hypothesis that the genesis of his injury began here. I thought the same, especially in conjunction with his 9.68 final w a 4mps tailwind. Remember what happened to Thompson after his wa 9.69. Tyson’s body/training/recovery apparently was not ready to handle these forces. Looking at Dix, however, I feel he can, with further technical refinement, handle the physiological demands and improve greatly. His top end speed and endurance was not that far behind Tyson’s.

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #72062

    Thanks for the kind words. I agree- I’m very impressed with Dix. Not only is he a ‘gamer’ in every sense of the word but he’s clearly still very raw with a lot of room for improvement.

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    J Kilgore on #72067

    Off topic a bit here, but…

    With our young sprint talent, do you think that USATF will somehow arrange/force the issue to win a world title / olympic gold in the 4×100. I would really like to see Dix, Gay and Padgett be able to get on a loaded relay with good handoffs and see what happens.

    What order / personnel do you think would give us the best chance?

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    BLogaN on #72089

    Mike-

    Thanks for taking the time to break it down for us.

    I have a couple of general questions.

    Is there a way to normalize Usain’s 9.69 to Tyson’s 9.68 to wind and then compare their 60-m times?

    and

    I’m curious if there is a point at which a tailwind would become detrimental to sprint biomechanics?

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #72093

    Murieka has done some work but on altitude and wind adjustments but I’m not sure they could be applied to 60m without some jimmy rigging. I think it’s safe to say that if Bolt had Tyson’s wind that he would have run about 0.04 faster over 60m.

    Many have suggested that a tailwind is detrimental to performance but if this is the case the statistics don’t really back it up. There’s a chance that it negatively affects mechanics but the aiding benefit of the wind seems to more than negate this for almost all competitors.

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    mortac8 on #72099

    Good videos but I don’t think you can really compare Gay 9.68 vs Bolt 9.69. 4.1 vs 0.0 is a different universe. As for wind not helping much, tell that to FloJo, Carl, Obadele, Fasuba, etc. With 4.1 running through the line Bolt would probably go sub 9.5. Resist being fully sucked into the realm of science.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #72101

    Yeah….different in more ways than that. Just did it to create an imaginary race between the two. I’d guess under similar conditions Bolt would have run a low 9.5 (if he ran through the line).

    I think the “wind hurts” phenomenon stems from a comment Mo Greene once made about it hurting him. As I mentioned the stats don’t bear this out if you look at the fastest 100m times of all time and the conditions people run their seasonal bests in. Wind helps. It’s as simple as that.

    VERY fast hurdlers are probably the only short sprint athletes that can actually say that wind could hurt performance.

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    MacAttack on #72104

    What kind of technical issues would arise with a tailwind? I’ve seen headwinds “cause” all kinds of problems (trying to drive way too long, exaggerated forward lean, etc.) but I’ve never observed this with a tailwind.

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    novacat87 on #72109

    Technical issues w the hurdles arise from the athlete being to close at takeoff. Stride patterns and frequencies become altered. That’s why one should train w “close” hurdles. Mike, In the 100m the deleterious effects of a tailwind would come from the overspeed factor wouldn’t it? Technique may hold but the physiological/metabolic effects could be devastating. What did Pfaff think about this after Thompson’s run and subsequent injuries and hardships?

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    J Kilgore on #72110

    I’m sure this was already brought up, but is it possible that Bolt not running through the line in the 100 was a blessing in disguise for the 200?

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    novacat87 on #72111

    Hard to say that because he looked so in control and there wasn’t a significant helping wind. Think he still would have gotten the 19.30 w a 9.62 all out 100m win. Plus with his turning in the last 15 m of the one hundred he could have caused significant soft tissue damage imho.

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    Daniel Andrews on #72113

    Most athletes when subjected to a tailwind experience hysteresis in the control of their movement. Almost always this is corrected in a race, if it isn’t the athlete will likely fall on their face. From the data it looks like it occurred between 80-90m in this race or was this the result of Gay??? Possibly, the latter, but it also happened to 1/2 the finalist and all in the outside 4 lanes on the track at 50-60m as well.

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    azz88 on #72168

    Do you think that which bolt being so tall that a tail wind would aid him more because of his bigger frame? (help him generate his body to top speed and beyond faster?) i realise that if it would help the taller sprinters more than the shorter ones it wouldn’t be by very much at all (0.01 or so maybe?) I’m just curious as to if it would make a difference or not

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    Chad Williams on #72170

    Do you think that which bolt being so tall that a tail wind would aid him more because of his bigger frame? (help him generate his body to top speed and beyond faster?) i realise that if it would help the taller sprinters more than the shorter ones it wouldn’t be by very much at all (0.01 or so maybe?) I’m just curious as to if it would make a difference or not

    Interesting question, I am thinking it is more of a disadvantage though.

    Unless the wind was greater than his speed (30mph), he would have more drag force against his body from more surface area, which would negate any advantage. Most sprinters wear speed suits to create less drag on the front side by not having flapping fabric that can pick up wind.

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