Interesting facts about the 100 meter dash

Posted on Mar 12, 2022      305

The sprint is the oldest type of athletic competition; it was part of the program of the ancient Olympic Games in Greece. Athletes at that time competed in the running of 1 stage - 192 meters and 27 centimeters. Time was not considered. The primary task of participants was to be the first to reach the finish line, so we will never know the speed at which the athletes of ancient times ran.

The 100-meter race had already been included in the program of the first modern Olympics, which took place in Athens in 1896. The winner was the American sprinter Tom Burke with a time of 12.0 seconds. Since then, the 100-metre race has consistently been one athletic disciplines at all the Olympic Games.

Tom Burke surprised his rivals and spectators by being the only athlete to use a low start. Although it was not Burke who first came up with the idea, it was another sprinter from the USA, Charles Sherrill. Back in 1888, while traveling in Australia, Sherill noticed a kangaroo. The animal ducked to the ground before jumping and then abruptly threw his body forward. Nowadays, the low start is used by all sprinters of the world.

World records in running 100 meters have been recorded since 1912, when the International Association of Athletics Federations was founded. The first world record holder was the American Donald Lippincott, who ran the distance in 10.6 seconds. More than a century has passed since then, and now the best sprinters can run the distance one second faster.

Until 1966, times were measured to the nearest tenth of a second. At the 1966 European Championships, an electronic stopwatch was used for the first time. The results were now more accurate, to a hundredth of a second. World records using an electronic stopwatch were not officially recorded until 1975.

Currently, the fastest man on the planet is Jamaican-born Usain Bolt. In 2009, he ran in Berlin in 9.58 seconds. To this day, the record remains unbeaten, even though Bolt himself has already finished his sports career.

Will anyone be able to break the record of the legendary sprinter? Some experts express doubts about it. Back in 1980, a study was conducted on the limits of human capabilities in sport. As a result, it was announced that no sprinter could run 100 meters faster than 10.6 seconds. The athlete’s body simply could not withstand a greater load. So, we can say that the result of Usain Bolt is prohibitive. He ran at an average speed of 37 kilometers per hour.

World records in women’s 100 meters were fixed much later than for men. The first official record holder in 1922 was Mari Meyzlikova from Czechoslovakia. Her result was 13.6 seconds. The women’s world record now held by American Florence Griffith-Joyner is 10.49 seconds. The record was set in the last century - on July 16, 1988.

Not every result shown by an athlete can be recognized as a record. According to the rules, records set outdoors are recorded only if the tailwind speed did not exceed two meters per second.

The oldest sprinter is Stanislaw Kowalski from Poland. He was born on April 14, 1910, and on June 28, 2015, at the age of 105, he took part in the Polish Athletics Championship among veterans. Kowalski overcame the distance of 100 meters in 34.5 seconds. Stanislaw Kowalski says that he has always led an active lifestyle and has never consulted a doctor.