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Biomechanical analysis of track and field at World Championships

This project is done by Leeds Beckett University, in collaboration with the IAAF. Its mission is to support athletes and their coaches in optimization of their training, as well as in the improvement of their performance in athletics competitions.

According to the IAAF, throughout track and field history, several of these biomechanics research projects have taken place at past world championships. This month, this project will be more comprehensive than ever before. This will be lead by Dr. Athanassios Bissas, with his team of 40 people from the Carnegie School of Sport. They will use 40 cameras, consisting of 25 high-speed cameras and 15 high definition camcorders, and they will cover 17 events, and they will provide a full biomechanical analysis. A team of analysts will subsequently work overtime, in an effort to ensure a quick turnaround with the results.

This full biomechanical analysis will take place for all finalists in the following track and field sports: 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 10,000 meters, marathon, the 3000 meter steeplechase, the 100 meter and 110 meter hurdles, 4 x 100 meter relays, high jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, shot put, discus throw, hammer throw and javelin throw.

In the dashes and springs, video footage will be scrutinized to produce reports with such variables as stride length, stride frequency, joint angels, velocities, among other biomechanical statistics. On the other hand, for long-distance events, the analysis will feature changes in fatigue, foot-strike patterns (for marathon athletes), as well as water jump hurdling in the 3000 meter steeplechase.

For discus, shot put, javelin and hammer throws, it will analyze the velocities at different stages of the throw, angles, heights and segment coordination.

Finally, in the jumping events (long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault), the biomechanical analysis will focus on the athlete’s take off, angles, velocities and it will approach kinematics (the motion of points); moreover, it will calculate each phase in the triple jump, the lean angles in the high jump, as well as velocity in the pole vault.

These key biomechanical data reports will be available on August 7, 8, 9 and 10 at the IAAF World Coaches Conference, as indicated by the official IAAF homepage. They will be beneficial to athletes and coaches alike.

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