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With all the hype about Usain Bolt’s 10 meter splits and speculation on what he could have run, I forgot to analyze the 200 meters! Shame on me!
I touched the topic of Speed Reserve in Part 1 and Part 2.
Usian Bolt’s 200m splits were clocked at 9.98 + 9.32 splits for his 200m. Compared to Michael Johnson’s 19.32 from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, his splits were 10.12 + 9.20, so Johnson actually ran a faster second half.
The USATF supplied this photo taken from the stands and edited using Dartfish. The start of the race was recorded by using the smoke from the starting gun.
If you take away 1 full second for acceleration out of the blocks, as referenced in the Valeri Borzov – Training Procedures in Sprinting article, that gives a breakdown of:
Usain Bolt = (1.0 + 8.98) + 9.32
Michael Johnson = (1.0 + 9.12) + 9.20
Usain Bolt’s theoretical 9.0 seconds (rounded up) for 100 meters “on the fly” is pretty accurate considering his 3rd leg 4×100 meter relay split two days later at the same Olympics on the curve was also 8.98 seconds. Lead-off man Nesta Carter ran 10.41 & Michael Frater’s split was 9.01. This is considerably slower than Asafa Powell’s 8.7 “World best” relay leg. Before I get flamed, you can’t compare apples and oranges, or rather, the 3rd leg vs. the 4th leg, curve vs. straight, one hand-off vs. 2 baton exchanges, and so on.
Usain Bolt’s PB is 9.69*, so his speed reserve for the first 100 meters was 9.98 – 9.69 = 0.29*
Michael Johnson’s PB is 10.09, so his speed reserve was 10.12 – 10.09 = 0.03, or pretty close to his best 100.
*One can argue if Usain Bolt ran through the line, he would have run 9.63 or 9.64, making his speed reserve a whopping 0.35
Who is King of the 200 meters? Usain Bolt or Michael Johnson?
Based on numbers and splits, is it fair to say Usain Bolt executed the race with a better Speed Reserve, but Michael Johnson has better Speed Endurance?
Was Usain Bolt’s approach to the 200m better than Michael Johnson’s? I’ll let you decide.
My theoretical calculations for 100m and 200m is doubled your best 100m time +/- 0.2 seconds. This is a good indicator on what you need to improve on the respective events, or to determine which is your “better” event.
Even a 9.65 doubled = 19.30 +/- 0.2 seconds gives you a range of 19.10 to 19.50.
1910… Nineteen-Ten… Geez, that’s not a 200 meter time, that’s the year Mexico celebrated its centennial of the Independence War!