Advances in advanced technology are laughable and unfair, says Bolt

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Rio 2016 Olympic Games – Athletics – Final – Men’s 100m Final – Olympic Stadium – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 08/14/2016. Usain Bolt (JAM) of Jamaica celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the REUTERS / Dylan Martinez race

KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 19 (Reuters) – Usain Bolt said advancements in spike technology that could help erase his world records are laughable and that the new shoes also give an unfair advantage over athletes who don’t wear them not.

After athletes tore the long-distance running record book with thick-soled, carbon-plated shoes, technology has now moved to sprint spikes, where – although there is less time in it. a race for the advantage to make an impact – it’s always enough to make a difference.

“When I was told about it I couldn’t believe that is what we have come to, you know what I mean, that we are really adjusting the pointe shoes to a level where it now gives the athletes an advantage. to run even faster, ”Bolt told Reuters in an interview in Kingston.

The 100 and 200 meter world record holder has competed in Puma crampons throughout his career.

“It’s weird and unfair for a lot of athletes because I know in the past they (the shoe makers) have actually tried and the governing body has said ‘No you can’t change spikes’, So knowing that now they’re really doing that is laughable, ”added the eight-time Olympic champion.

American Trayvon Bromell is the favorite to win the Bolt 100m title in Tokyo. He’s the world’s fastest over the distance this year at 9.77 seconds, but the 2015 100m world bronze medalist is less convinced of the impact of the shoes.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of data to show they have such a big improvement,” Bromell, who races for New Balance, told reporters last week.

“I know we (New Balance) are constantly building on what we have to make the perfect peak, but for me personally as a runner, I always feel like it’s not enough data to really do it. to show.”

While other companies now offer similar shoe models, Nike seems poised to dominate and prides itself on being a leader in technology.

“We’re just smarter about the way we design and assemble them,” Nike said in an email to Reuters.

The company added that it strives to keep its athletes cutting edge while playing by the rules.

Weighing in on developments in footwear technology, World Athletics said, “The current regulations (July 2020) were designed to give certainty to athletes preparing for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, to preserve the integrity of the elite competition and to limit technological development to current levels until after the Tokyo Olympics, in all events. “

He said a footwear task force aimed to set parameters to strike a balance between innovation, competitive advantage and product availability.

In performance with the Nike Air Zoom Maxfly, two-time Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce clocked the fastest 100m in 33 years on June 5 in Kingston with a career record of 10.63 seconds.

Only American world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner went faster, with 10.49 seconds in Indianapolis in 1988.

But Fraser-Pryce was not willing to neglect the work she did to become the fastest woman in the world, even as she trains and competes.

“You can give the tips to someone else and they probably won’t do the same things I did, so I’m not counting on the hard work my coach and I put in,” the four-time champion of the 100 m world told Reuters.

“Maybe the combination of the two – having good products and good runners combined – makes a really good end product. So for me, I can’t point the spikes on my own.”

Sha’Carri Richardson of the United States, who lost her spot in the 100m in Tokyo after receiving a one-month suspension for using marijuana, rose to sixth on the all-time list with 10.72 seconds in April using the shoe.

Veteran Jamaican sprint coach Stephen Francis has admitted that faster times are run in Nike’s new sprint spikes.

“Based on anecdotal evidence and based on the fact that you have people who would never have run as fast as they run, I suspect there may be a point, but there is no basis scientist to do it, ”Francis told Reuters from Kingston.

Whatever the benefit, he said, everyone can benefit from Nike technology based on the rules set by World Athletics.

Reporting by Kayon Raynor; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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