Expert Roundtable: The 100 Meter Dash

Andrew KneelandSenior Writer IAugust 25, 2008

There is really no need for an introduction to this article, as I jump right into the discussion. Simply put, this is an article where three so-called experts here at Bleacher Report discuss the Olympic 100m dash event.

Andrew Kneeland: Usain Bolt broke the world-record in the 100 meter dash during these Olympic Games, posting a time of 9.69. While obviously very good, the controversial aspect of this run was the fact that he let up and started horsing around well before the finish line. Experts predict that he could have shaved off a huge difference in his time, practically guaranteeing him the record for a long time; or at least until he breaks it again. What are your thoughts on this? Can this time be beat? When will it happen, and where?

Ben Weixlmann: Usain Bolt has created quite possibly the second largest buzz of the entire 2008 Beijing Olympics by posting world records in both the 100 and 200 meter runs. His 100 meter world record of 9.69 seconds could arguably have been much quicker. How much faster one might ask? Well, I think there is no possible way he could have gone under 9.5 seconds.

Don't get me wrong, I think that Bolt is quite possibly the greatest sprinter of all-time not named Jesse Owens, but to go under 9.5 seconds would be unthinkable. Just three years ago, we were looking at Maurice Greene's 9.72 as the unbeatable mark. Bolt's 6'6" frame caters to a quick time, especially if he gets out of the blocks well. His stride is massive, and he can cover ground like a vicious tornado in the middle of Nebraska.

My point is pretty simple: I'm no scientist, but I think it is humanly impossible to run under the 9 second mark. In speaking with fellow Bleacher Report Senior Writer Andrew Kneeland, we expressed our disagreements on the topic. I only wish Fox Sports Net's "Sports Science" would cover this issue.

Andrew McNair
: I feel Usain Bolt let up in the 100m as he simply was saving himself for the 200m. The 9.69 is going to stand for a long time unless Bolt or someone new comes out to beat it. A bit like Bolt has out of nowhere this year.

Without letting up in the 100m, he may well not have beaten Michael Johnson's 200m world record. His real goal.

If I was that far ahead in the 100m, I'd also be pretty pleased about it and 100m athlete's pull up early all the time these days.

Another topic I've seen thrown around is about Bolt being clean from drugs.

I feel he is as he won by sooo much. Something no performance enhancing drugs can offer. I know you never say never but that's how I like to think of it.

Andrew Kneeland: I also think that a huge case can be made regarding doping in these games by Usain Bolt. As Andrew said, however, what he did is something you can't get from any drugs.

I disagree with these other two about the actual record, though. I feel like this 9.69 will be broken very soon; perhaps even before the 2012 Olympic Games. The primary reasons for Bolt's immense success is his freakish athleticism coupled with awesome height. I ask: if someone as tall as Bolt can control his huge frame with enough finesse, why can't someone just a few inches taller be born with that ability?

The 9-second mark could even fall victim to another tall athlete.

Ben Weixlmann: As Andrew just eluded to, when anyone puts a performance like this together, they will be subject to criticism regarding steroids. I heard the other day on the radio that Jamaica doesn't test their athletes during the offseason, so I perceive that to mean that these Jamaican athletes have 4 months to dope-up.

Regarding AK's comment about a taller athlete coming along, in my many years of playing basketball, I have realized that it's almost a direct correlation between height and the less coordinated someone is. I think if there were to be a sprinter who is 6'9", not only would he have extreme trouble getting out of the blocks in a quick manner, but he may not be coordinated enough to perfect the proper running methods to go "super fast".

Andrew Kneeland
: Yes, I realize that a 6'9'' athlete with long enough strides to break the record would have to have great control of their huge frame, as I said above. I do believe, however, that this will eventually happen.

Ben Weixlmann
: You may, perhaps, be correct. I just don't think it will happen even close to the 2012 Olympics, it would have to be much later. A freak athlete such as Bolt only comes around once every 50 years or so, and for someone to be MORE of a freak? Now, I'm going to guess that might not be in my lifetime.