Usain Bolt is the world record holder for the 100m sprint, and scientists have now revealed whether his record time will ever be broken.
Back in 2008, during the Olympics in Beijing, Bolt shocked the world by comfortably winning the gold medal in the 100m after clocking 9.69 seconds whilst jogging over the line, leaving his opponents in the dust.
A year after the Olympics, he etched himself further into athletics history by breaking the world record with a staggering time of 9.58 seconds during the 2009 Berlin World Championships.
Ever since that incredible time set by the Jamaican sprinting legend, many have tried and failed to match Bolt’s time. Even the great man himself couldn’t get near, with his closest effort coming in the 2012 London Olympics where he ran the 100m in 9.63 seconds.
13 years on, will the record ever be broken? Will an athlete be able to clock a time lower than nine seconds in the 100m sprint? A study conducted by the Sport Biomechanics at the University of Bath has the answers.
There are no doubts that the times are going to get quicker and quicker as technology advances but to run under nine seconds seems beyond possible.
According to Polly McGuigan and Aki Salo, the possibility of a sub nine second time could well be possible.
Their findings said: “A combination of genetics and training would need to produce bum, thigh and calf muscles which are a little bit stronger and faster than the current best sprinters.
“A muscle with a high proportion of large, fast twitch muscle fibres will be able to generate larger amounts of force more quickly than a muscle with a lower proportion.
“It’s safe to say that someone will break the nine second barrier – not necessarily in our lifetime, but it will happen one day.”
Despite this, other experts have had their say on the matter, with Dr Sam Allen stating that a time below nine seconds will be impossible to achieve.
Meanwhile, in the U20 World Championship this week, the under 20 world record has been broken by Letsile Tebogo of Botswana after he clocked a time of 9.91 seconds to break his own previous world record of 9.96.
Whilst still a long way to go until he reaches Bolt’s 9.58, time is well on his side to give him many more occasions to try and rewrite the history book.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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