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Was It Her Form? Flo Jo was amazing.

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  • Was It Her Form? Flo Jo was amazing.

    In between meets and in Olympic Fever I've been watching videos on Youtube, including ones talking about Flo Jo's form.

    What if it is simply a case of the marriage of perfect peaking, the weather and perfect form on her 10.49 day? Her form is gorgeous. Are there any thoughts in the T&F world to the contrary concerning her form? I mean, to my eyes I can't really pick out anything. She has a short-ish drive phase but, well, every other last thing looks absurdly good to me.

    Same question about 21.34. Perfect peak, perfect form, perfect weather.
    You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

  • #2
    Originally posted by scottmitchell74 View Post

    What if it is simply a case of the marriage of perfect peaking, the weather and perfect form on her 10.49 day?
    All that, plus a perfectly broken wind gauge.
    Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Powell View Post

      All that, plus a perfectly broken wind gauge.
      Yep, something was malfunctioning.

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      • #4
        How about the 21.34?
        You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

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        • #5
          She was smooth... and fast.

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          • #6
            I wish I still had the article, but Scientific American published an analysis of those two fast quarterfinals and estimated the wind was around 3.8 mps, as I recall. Even with a wind, that was probably still the greatest sequence of races ever. She had managed to capture "something" that neither she nor anyone else had ever managed before. As if this wasn't just a quantitative difference, there was something qualitatively different about what she was doing.

            I remember the stadium that day, and how after the first heat when she ran 10.60 the reaction was one of "how fast do you suppose that would be without wind?" And then she came back in the afternoon and ran the 10.49 and the initial reaction among many when we looked at the sign was literal laughter, along the lines of "this is just getting ridiculous". Until we looked over at the gauge display..

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            • #7
              Originally posted by scottmitchell74 View Post
              How about the 21.34?
              The 21.34 was legit as far as the timing was concerned and pretty much in line with the legit wind-legal 10.61 and 10.62 she ran that year.
              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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              • #8
                Wind and wind gauges... always strange... Darrell Green's 10.08 at San Angelo on April 13, 1983, had an official wind reading of +0.1, despite the wind never being less than 14 mph. Why? it was ever so slightly a cross-tailwind.

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                • #9
                  Don't forget she was going to move up to the marathon after Seoul...

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                  • #10
                    No doubt that 10.49 was windy, ya could see their hair blowing their numbers, but......what was second place?

                    I have no problems seeing a 10.58ish as a realist possibility, she was special.

                    Always like these 100/200 sprinters who have that 400 ability.

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                    • #11
                      How did her times in those races compare to the other athletes? Was everyone running beyond their abilities? Her margin of victory was also impressive.
                      You there, on the motorbike! Sell me one of your melons!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My impression of Flojo in 1988 (vs 84) was that she was a lot stronger in every muscle group, but without putting on too much muscle mass. She didn't bulk up, but she looked like she had been in the weight room and her leg muscles (hip flexors and thighs) looked very strong. No breakdown in form at all at any stage of the race.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alcyallen View Post
                          what was second place?
                          2. Diane Williams 10.88 (pb was 10.94)
                          3. Gail Devers 10.98 (pb was 11.04)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Alcyallen View Post
                            No doubt that 10.49 was windy, ya could see their hair blowing their numbers, but......what was second place?

                            I have no problems seeing a 10.58ish as a realist possibility, she was special.

                            Always like these 100/200 sprinters who have that 400 ability.
                            In those two quarterfinals, it was a clear case of "too many people running too fast". I remember Angela Burnham running 11.28 that put her high on the high school all-time list but left her chasing a phantom that wasn't a realistic measure of her abilities at that time.

                            Scientific American did an analysis of these times, in conjunction with some intelligent track people, and suggested that the wind in this race was (if I'm remembering after all these years) something in the neighborhood of +3.8 - clearly over the limit but not ridiculously so.

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                            • #15
                              The IAAF statistical analysis from Seoul showed that Flo Jo basically didn't slow down. It was her speed maintenance that set her apart from her competitors. Have a look at the stats below. In Seoul, she didn't reach peak speed until 70m, which is very late for a woman, most do around 40-60m. But she maintained that speed for much longer than anyone else, who only held top speed for one 10m segment, and then slowed down.

                              In simple terms, the GDR approach back then was all about getting the highest maximum speed, low arm carriage and cadence, whereas Flo-Jo's approach was about maintaining speed and stride length. Flo's Jo's stride length was nearly as long as Drechsler's, who was much taller, and 3rd behind Drechsler and Jackson's, despite other women being taller than her.

                              It's worth pointing out some of the - unfounded - allegations that she was taking HGH (not actually on the IOC's banned list until 1989..) . Some suggested EPO too, which accounted for the speed maintenance, but that was more rumour rather than explicit accusation, as with HGH via Darrell Robinson. It's worth noting neither of these drugs were in the GDR medicine cabinet, which would partly account for how the GDR lost that chapter of the Cold War in Seoul.

                              Flo-Jo explained her rapid improvement on everything from her new diet of water, vitamins, fish and chicken to doing up to 5,000 sit-ups a day...

                              The "Scientific Research Project at the Games of the XXIVth Olympiad - Seoul 1988'', Bruggemann, G. and Glad, B. (eds), IAAF and Charles University, Prague (1988)".
                              RT: 0.131s (round-down to 0.13s), Wind: +3.0m/s.
                              10m: 2.00w (1.87w)
                              20m: 3.09w (1.09w)
                              30m: 4.09w (1.00w)
                              40m: 5.04w (0.95w)
                              50m: 5.97w (0.93w)
                              60m: 6.89w (0.92w)
                              70m: 7.80w (0.91w)
                              80m: 8.81w (0.91w)
                              90m: 9.62w (0.91w)
                              100m: 10.54w (0.92w)

                              Fastest 10m Split:
                              0.91w, 60-70m, 70-80m & 80-90m
                              50m Split-times: 5.97w/4.57w (10.54w)
                              60m/40m Split-times: 6.89w/3.65w (10.54w)

                              10.49 Indianapolis:
                              PierreJean has mentioned that he recorded each 10m section/segment from 40m onwards for Flo-Jo in;
                              40-50m: 0.92e
                              50-60m: 0.90e
                              60-70m: 0.89e
                              70-80m: 0.90e
                              80-90m: 0.90e
                              90-100m: 0.93e
                              The splits above indicate a final 40m of 3.62e, 50m of 4.52e for Flo-Jo, and a final 60m of 5.44e for Flo-Jo.
                              Last edited by Wiederganger; 07-16-2021, 09:18 AM.

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