Friday, July 9, 2010

Lemaitre Breaks 10 second Barrier!

Forever and a day sprint fans have asked: who will become the first white sprinter to run sub 10? Other sprint barriers such as 20.00 in the 200 and 44.00 in the 400 have long ago fallen by the wayside, but since Jim Hines first cracked 10.00 with his 9.95 in Mexico City way back in 1968, 10.00 has remained the barrier for white sprinters.

Marian Woronin of Poland was on the brink when he ran 10.00 back in 1984. A mark equaled by Japan’s Koji Ito in 1998. But just as African distance runners have dominated the sub 27 minute ranks of the 10,000 meters, so have African and those with African blood dominated the ranks of the sub 10 100 meters. So it’s rather fitting that with Chris Solinsky cracking the 27 minute barrier, that France’s Christophe Lemiatre did the same to the 10 second barrier as he won the French title today in 9.98 sec!

Ironically, watching this young man’s race (see below) there is definitely room for improvement. With his height and potential use of his levers, there is could be much more in store. I think this is the tip of the iceberg for this young man. Especially now that the “mental barrier” has been conquered. Below is this bit of history.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is just like the 4-minute mile-- folks didn't think it could be done, although rational analysis could easily figure that it was possible, and inevitable too. Then, of course, lots of people ran 4 minutes after Bannister ran that time. 10 flat for 100 is now considerably a more difficult task than running a 4 minute mile (over a thousand have done it), but you will see more non-African background folks run that time. I would be a bit surprised if some of the next 10 flat runners are not from Asia, particularly Japan, which has had really good sprint relays for some time.

    It's useful to athletes to see it done, but I strongly suspect it's effect will be as important with coaches, who will perhaps not so readily suggest that runners take up the 200, 400, 800, hurdles and long jump instead of the 100.

    Comments by Euro-mutt who ran the sprint relay and mile back to back in college...