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The freakiness of Bolt (100m WR progression article)

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  • The freakiness of Bolt (100m WR progression article)

    Here's an interesting article from Wired.com on the progression of the WR in the 100m, with projected future outlooks from various scientific POVs (incl. remarks from yours truly -- think I'll revisit that study). Thought the stats nuts would like this:

    =============================

    Bolt Is Freaky Fast, But Nowhere Near Human Limits

    By Alexis Madrigal
    August 25, 2008 | 5:10:34 PM

    As astonishing as Usain Bolt's record-breaking 100-meter sprint was, his time of 9.69 seconds is nowhere near what biostatisticians predict is the natural limit for the human body.

    But because he broke the mathematical model that had fit 100-meter record data for almost a century, Bolt's incredible performance could reset how fast researchers believe humans ultimately can run.

    Complete story: http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008 ... reaky.html

  • #2
    Sounds like more not-quite-thought-through athletics science to me. That e.g.
    9.44 as an ultimate record is too high, most of us could have told them in
    advance. Using WRs as input (as appears to be the case) instead of overall
    level is misleading---Hines alone makes the data faulty. Extrapolation in the
    far future is very different from intrapolation and short-term extrapolation.
    The mouse-elephant analogy is not necessarily applicable---and even if it
    does apply, there will be a non-zero probability of an exception. Etc.

    The article is correct in seeing Bolt as ahead of his time, but that we
    already knew.

    Mureika seems to have some idea of what he is doing---but that we also
    knew...

    Comment


    • #3
      that curve doesn't take into account

      - change in timing from 0.1s to 0.01s in '60's onwards

      - change from dirt/synthetics

      - wind/altitude adjustments

      i'm surprised they even bothered predicting anything with that raw data

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by eldrick
        that curve doesn't take into account

        - change in timing from 0.1s to 0.01s in '60's onwards

        - change from dirt/synthetics

        - wind/altitude adjustments

        i'm surprised they even bothered predicting anything with that raw data

        indeed, and of course I could easily find a model that predicts 8 seconds flat by 2010
        ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

        Comment

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