Why ‘race’ matters in determining who is the fastest man on earth

Lightning-quick reactions. In most sports, they form the foundation of victory. Nowhere is this more cut and dry than in sprinting, where legacies often boil down to a matter of milliseconds. Few athletes in history have developed more efficient fast-twitch muscles than four top track stars in this year’s Olympics: Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and Razorback Tyson Gay. In 100 meter races, they have produced the top 21 performances ever. In the 200m, they had notched nine of the top 11 times.

In London, though, Europe’s fastest man is expected to loosen this quartet’s vice grip on the world’s biggest stage. Twenty-two-year-old Christophe Lemaitre entered the Olympic 200m and 4X100m relay with one of the event’s most intriguing stories. Lemaitre didn’t even start sprinting until age 15. In the next five years, he demolished one record after another in his native France while growing to 6-feet-3.

View the original article here: Why ‘race’ matters in determining who is the fastest man on earth

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