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Math and Olympics: How Fast Could Usain Bolt Run?

At 9.58 seconds, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt holds the world record for the 100 meter sprint. A recent study claims that that time can be improved with  a bit of math and no extra effort on Bolt’s part.

A recent study by John Barrow (University of Cambridge) focuses on Bolt’s reaction time off the starting block and optimum wind speed as factors that would reduce his record time to 9.40 seconds. His findings will be published in Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.

"The time that people record in the 100 meter sprint is the sum of two parts -- one is the reaction time to the starting gun and the other is the actual running time," said Barrow in an article for Reuters.

Barrow has been giving a series of talks on the mathematics behind the Olympics in the run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Other sports he’s focused on include rowing and the triathlon. Read more from Reuters.

Start Date: 
Friday, April 6, 2012