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Usain Bolt’s Claim He Can Run 100 Meters In 9.4 Seconds Is Mathematically Possible, Say Researchers

  • Spencer Lund

Bolt's World Record from 2009

After winning the Gold in Beijing, China, during the 2008 Summer Olympics with a (then) world record time of 9.69 seconds, Usain Bolt was the fastest man alive. It was an epic performance since no man had ever broken 9.7 seconds in the 100 meters. He didn’t just chip away at the record after that; he blew past the record time just a year later during the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany. He shaved another .11 seconds off the record, and ran a blistering time of 9.58 seconds. Three years, and a loss to fellow countrymen Johan Blake in the Jamaican 100 Meter Olympic Trials later, they’re still the two fastest recorded 100 meter times in history.

Now, on the cusp of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, starting this Saturday, Bolt has mused to the press about possibly shaving another .2 seconds off his already epic feat. It begs the question: can a 9.4 second 100 meters even be run? Researchers of the Tilburg University Study concluded that he can.

One of the study’s authors, Sanders Smeets, told the AFP:

“Usain Bolt has said he is targeting 9.4 sec for the 100 metres and according to our results this is achievable as the absolute limit for a world record at the moment is 9.36 sec.”

The study used various mathematical and statistical models collated from the best times posted over 100m by the 1,034 best male athletes going back to 1991, Smeets explained.

The new study draws on an earlier one which Smeets carried out in 2008 which then suggested that the “ultimate world record” would be 9.51sec.

However, “in 2008, Usain Bolt’s records were not included in our data, which we published before the (Beijing) Olympics,” Smeets explained, adding the original version drew on data from only 762 athletes.

So Usain Bolt can, according to numbers, lower the 100 meter world record even further and by more than 2 tenths of a second, too. By doing so, he may be passing over to the other side and gain awareness of the Matrix.

Neo would approve.

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