By far the most incredible an undeniably infamous 100m sprint ever. But, lets have a closer look to see where Mr. Johnson could be “breaking down” (i.e. bio-mechanical inefficiency).7
Not much to said here other than an incredible reaction time to the gun. Take note all you up and coming 100 m sprinters, this is a start that should become standardized. Mr. Johnson is focused on two things:
1) head down but keeping the eyes up (i.e. this can account for as much as 5-10% additional force in the extensor mechanism). By looking down, as what Mr. Bolt does, you are losing this additional propulsion force. Take note Mr. Bolt.
2) Mr. Johnson is concentrating on just driving his Left arm up, unlike Mr. Smith (on your viewing Right), who only utilizes hip drive. Mr. Johnson, by performing this action, is activating more of the posterior chain.8
THE DRIVE PHASE
Again, not much to say here.
1) Here’s where it gets interesting. We know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Mr. Johnson begins his run closest to his Left hand lane marker, but near the end, he increases his running distance, just slightly, by veering off to the centre of his lane.
2) There is improper full extension of the Left arm, thus inhibiting the extensor propulsion of the Right Leg.
3) The Right foot does not land within a normal 0 to 3 (5) degree angle relative to a straight line drawn in front of the foot strike. Instead, the Right Foot is Externally rotated greater than 5 degrees, thus eluding to a possible Hip Flexsor weakness on the Right, along with a possible weakness of the Transverse Abdominalis on the Left side.
4) There is a possible weakness in the Right Adductor muscles (i.e. groin muscles), which causes the Right Leg to Rotate from the mid-line towards the outside with each successive stride.
5) There is a possible Obutator nerve entrapment on the Right Hip, due to perhaps a adhesion of the Right Transverse Abdominalis (TVA) or a general, but mild, weakness in the TVA, causing the visceral organs to “plop” down, thereby mildly compressing the Obutator Nerve, which innervates the Right Adductors.
6) The raising of the Right Arm at around 85 m, causing a sudden, but gentle de-acceleration several metres before the line.
SOME ADDITIONAL INTERESTING INFORMATION
One must also factor in the track surface Mr. Johnson ran on (i.e. rubberized surface, which inherently reduces maximum speed ) vs. the hard Mondo surface, which can increase top speed, but then also increases injury potential, for it does not “give” with each stride impact .6
Consider the basic spike technology Mr. Johnson was using at the time, versus today’s modern spike, which have a rigid plate, that keeps the foot in a more upright position that is required for sprinting.
As with both above mentioned scenarios, you will have a large amount of vertical and horizontal forces dissipated, translating into a slower times.
Mr. Bolt may be fast, and again, no disrespect or diminishing Mr. Bolts accomplishments, but Mr. Johnson is the faster, based upon the above information.
JUST HOW FAST YOU MIGHT ASK?
In our estimation, addressing all these bio-mechanical elements could possibly propel Mr. Johnson to a 9.6 sec to a 9.7 sec time. Factor in his top end speed is higher than Mr. Bolt’s (even at 9.58 sec). Factor in that his career had virtually ended after his positive test, but had he been allowed to continue (barring the whole doping scandal etc…), we feel confident in predicting a time between 9.4 to 9.5 sec later on in his career (barring any injuries)!!!