Who is better in 200m? Michael Johnson or Usain Bolt considering several facts!

>> September 29, 2009

The greatest men in history requires no introduction! Even if you are not a fan of sports, you have probably heard their names being mentioned everywhere.

The likes of Jesse Owens, Bob Hayes, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Maurice Greene, and even the latest superstar whose trademark "lightning pose" Usain Bolt is known to everybody.

The two athletes that goes into my mind due to the dramatic performances in the same event are Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt. But there is almost no similarity between both. Johnson's physic is more appropriate for long sprints, but Bolt's physic gives him advantage over the shorter sprint distances. Johnson's prime time was ended a decade ago, while Bolt is still gearing up and leveraging his "empire".

Back in 1996 Olympics, Johnson shattered the world record with what was considered "a magic time" of 19.32s. He actually broke his own world record (19.66s) by more than three tenths of a second that he set in the U.S. Olympic trial a few weeks earlier.

The process of the record setting was not easy. Just like others, Johnson had to go through three rounds (heats, quarters, and semis) before his final 200m race. Prior to that, he took the Olympic 400m Gold in a time of 43.49s. It was a new Olympic record. But prior to that, he had to run three preliminaries rounds. In other words, Johnson had to run 1.8km sprint prior to his 200m finals. Details as follows;

Michael Johnson in 1996 Olympics

400m Heats (26 July) - 45.80s
400m Quarters (27 July) - 44.62s
400m Semis (28 July) - 44.59s
400m Finals (30 July) - 43.49s - OR

200m Heats (31 July) - 20.55s
200m Quarters (31 July) - 20.37s
200m Semis (1 Aug) - 20.27s
200m Finals (1 Aug) - 19.32s - OR / WR

Usain Bolt has gone through similar rounds in 2009 as Johnson (1996) but with shorter total distance which covered much more less than Johnson with (only) 1.0km, before destroying his WR (19.30s) from the Beijing Olympics with a time of 19.19s. If you were to compare the situation (Johnson vs Bolt at 200m), Johnson apparently in a "disadvantage" due to the extra distances to be covered.

We will further look into the following factors that distinguish between Johnson 19.32 and Bolt 19.19.

Running surface or track quality. The track surface at Olympic stadium at Berlin (where Bolt set 19.19) is called Polytan M  which is the latest and the best version of track that ever produced. It is harder, thus much more faster than the track surface (Mondo) at the 1996 Olympic stadium.

The Polytan M track at Berlin contains three-layer synthetic surface that provide higher elasticity and energy return in every strike to the track that will give an added advantage to sprinters (i.e. Usain Bolt) every time they hit (strike) the track surface. This will which allows them to move faster.

The IAAF recently awards Class 1 Certificate to the Polytan M, to confirm the outstanding quality of the running track.

Furthermore, a lot of changes in sports science, thus the training methodology since 1996. Training methods change when there are new scientific findings related to training, applied physiology and the biomechanics are produced. This gives other extra advantages to current athletes (i.e. Usain Bolt in this case).

There is a lot more that distinguish between the two eras. To be discussed in the next post.


Could Tyson run faster if free injury?

>> September 26, 2009

By Jad Adrian Washif

The race in Shanghai IAAF Golden Grand Prix, China let him know his training is on the right track. He clocked 9.69s, a new American record and set the 2nd fastest of all time just behind the doubtful Jamaican, Usain Bolt! His aim and mission for next year will simply be to lower his time as no major competition at 2010 (Bolt still have Commonwealth Games). " I do think I could have run faster than 9.69", Tyson Gay said."I can focus on running fast and winning races and not the challenges of round running… The races in both Shanghai and Berlin show him that he can and will get faster and faster!
Gay provided Bolt with his biggest obstacle at the world championships in Berlin, but finished a distant second. But he ran well also, turning in a then American-record time of 9.71s + nagged by groin injury that time! Gay showed tremendous run in the 200 when he stopped the clock with 19.58 at a meet in New York last May.
But Tyson Gay couldn't run the 200 at the world championships because of his groin, watching from the sidelines as Usain Bolt set yet another world mark (19.19). "The season didn't go as exactly as I wanted it, but I am really proud of my world championship medal in Berlin and the consistency I had despite not being totally healthy," Gay said. "I am kind of a quiet guy so to be a little less in the spotlight fits my personality," he said. "But that doesn't mean I like to finish second, though. To finish in front is always my goal."
Now, what to do to catch Usain Bolt? Two points;
*By focusing on what he have to do and not what Usain or other athletes are doing in training or racing.
*Tyson Gay tended to be a slow starter in the 100m, here is the main point that Tyson along with Jon Drummond and Lance Brauman will works on!


Selangor Open Athletics Meet 2009

>> September 14, 2009

The Championships was held on July 11 - 12 at the MBPJ Stadium in Petaling Jaya, approximately 40km away from Kuala Lumpur.

Over 30 teams from various sports club, schools club, associations and institutions including the national athletes of MSN were taking part at the meet.












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