This article was posted 5:00pm BST, 3 hours before the start of the Men’s 200m semi-finals.
I am going to make a bold prediction, and that is Yohan Blake will beat Usain Bolt at the 2012 London Olympic 200 meters on Thursday night.
Here is my reasoning (logic?).
To calculate your 200 meter potential, using “double your best 100m plus/minus 0.2 seconds” is the norm, among several other factors such as speed endurance, fitness, weather, rounds management, etc.
In Usain Bolt’s best 2 performances in ‘08 & ‘09, his execution is consistent. He runs the first 100 meters 0.30 slower than his 100m SB (i.e. called speed reserve), and he usually slows down about 0.35 sec for the second half (i.e. speed endurance)
This means Bolt can run 19.26 seconds (9.63 x 2) or a range anywhere from 19.06 to 19.46.
Doubling your 100m time may be a neat and simple equation, but it’s really twice your speed reserve (using Bolt ‘09 = 0.34 for each 100m segment) plus your second half slowdown (0.35) that predicts your 200m time. Hence, the 2 qualities in 200m training is acceleration development for max velocity, and speed endurance. (Special endurance plays a part, too, but I don’t want to confuse the issue)
(SIDENOTE: In the chart, I use ONE full second for acceleration out of the blocks, as referenced in the Valeri Borzov – Training Procedures in Sprinting article)
Yohan Blake is the Beast
But Yohan Blake is a different beast, and he likes being called that. Really.
Why? Because his 2nd half 100 meters is the best the business, and that he barely slows down. This is a rare quality, only to be seen in the likes of Michael Johnson.
Don’t forget, in Blake’s 19.26 performance, if he had the same reaction time as his 100m performance in Daegu, he would have run 19.17 and broken the WR.
The chart above shows Bolt and Blake’s best 200m times and splits, when their 100m SB were 9.58 and 9.82 respectively. That’s a 0.24 second differential between the two body types and two different race execution styles.
Fast forward to last Sunday night, the differential between Bolt and Blake at the London 2012 100 meters final was only 0.12 seconds! (9.63 vs 9.75) You can also say Yohan is 0.07 seconds faster than last year.
I think we are going to see these two men run the first 100 about 0.30-0.35 seconds slower than their best 100m, and they will be within a 1-2 meters apart at the straightaway. Then it will be a battle down the homestretch that will determine the winner.
And I’m calling Christophe Lemaitre to win a bronze, with Wallace Spearmon and Churandy Martina very close behind.
Please comment below on your thoughts!