What is the Fastest Event in Track?
Most people might think 100m sprint is the quickest track event…most people are wrong. Athletes reach their fastest speeds in the 4x100m.
On 16 August 2009, Usain “Lighting” Bolt reaffirmed his title of ‘Worlds Fastest Man’ at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Having previously earned the World Record in Beijing in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m Relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games the world though that man had reached its top speed, Bolt proved this wrong when he took the Gold Medal and the World Record for both the Men’s 100m (9.58) and the Men’s 200m (19.19).
In looking at Bolt’s times, it has been found that his fastest average speed can be more accurately seen in 4x100m relay not in 100m. In comparing the two events he ran Bolt ran closer to a 9.28 in the 4x100m, nearly 0.3s faster than his 100m World Record.
Why is that?
The answer is very simple, it is because of the acceleration within the baton zone. During the handoff, the next athlete has already begun running when he/she accepts the baton. Therefore by the time the athletes begin their 100m run they have already built up their speed and acceleration is maintained from start to finish. The 400m Relays are very unique races as they consider speed of each runner to determine their place in the race; generally a four person relay team runs in the following order second fastest, third fastest, slowest, then fastest.