Has Usain Bolt Forever Changed 100m Sprinting?

Brandon EvansCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2008

The 100m world record has been broken numerous times in the past. But not like this. Usain Bolt of Jamaica obliterated the competition and the world record at the Beijing Olympics, running an astonishing 9.69, and he clearly could have gone faster.

The question is: Will his potential to dominate pave the way for a different style of athlete in the 100m?

In the world of professional sprinters, Bolt is in the odd category. He is 6'5" and doesn't have the lower center of gravity and muscle build of most competitors he races. But his height and stride length gives him a great advantage.

His stride length is key, as it allows him to eat up more track than everyone else, and it's simple science. If "X" takes five strides per second to every three strides per second "Y" takes, "X" is faster. Even with his raw power and height alone, if Bolt had a bad start, he's still scientifically bound to catch up

Coaches could potentially begin looking for taller athletes as sprinter, and we could see a drastic change in the type of sprinters in the future. Maybe even as early as 2012!