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Physics confirms sprinters are performing better than ever before

from Institute of Physics

Steve Haake, director of the Centre for Sports Engineering at Sheffield Hallam University in the U.K., discusses his "performance-improvement index," which uses very simple physics to compare the relative improvement of top athletes in different sports over the last 100 years. Some of the reasons for these changes, which Haake describes in this feature, are because of technological interventions that have changed the face of the sport. The performance of javelin throwers, for example, was improving drastically up until the mid-1980s, to a point where officials were concerned for crowd safety. In recognition of the summer 2012 games being in London, IOP is making the July 2012 edition of Physics World, which focuses on physics of sports, freely available as a download. more

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