Whatís the fastest a human could run, theoretically. Whatís the fastest a human could sprint at with the aid of all the latest blood and drug enhancements?
We put this question to Professor Chris Cooper:
The cynical answer is to say we know that because we have Tim Montgomery as an example of somebody but then heíd been beaten by Usain Bolt! I think itís quite a difficult question to answer. The world record now is 9.72 [menís 100m] and no evidence thatís been done illegally. You can sort of extrapolate form that where you might get. I think increasingly weíre going to see genetic anomalies, people whoíve got a genetic aberration that makes them perform better and thatís going to be what makes the difference. A classic example was a Finnish cross-country skier who had a naturally active EPO system. He made in his body large amounts of red blood cells because he had a gene defect. It wasnít a defect, of course! I think youíll see these step changes by people who happened to have had a mutation. Itís difficult to therefore extrapolate.
mario asked the Naked Scientists:
I don't think this is something that anyone has worked on. I think it would be too controversial.
Usian Bolt is the current world record holder, with a time of 9.72 seconds. Madidus_Scientia, Sat, 12th Jul 2008
I dont think it should be controversial. I think we're close to reaching our natural physical potential, at least with regards to sprinting. They must be some kind of bio-mechanical limit which can not surpass with conventional tarining.
A true athlete strives to be the best they can be. Not the best they can be with the help of drugs. Otherwise who is the real champion, the producers of the drugs or the athlete?
What is it to be human? To use that frequently used fact- we are passenger in our own bodies- refering to the fact that there are more bacterial cells, than somatic cells.
Does "the latest enhancements" include a bicycle? What about a motor bike?
And would you really admire someone who beats a world record by being hopped up on steriods? Madidus_Scientia, Wed, 16th Jul 2008
I was mistaken, 'not faster', but nearly just as fast and one sprinter in particular 'oscar pistorius' just failed to make the cut for the south african able bodied team.....
"one sprinter in particular 'oscar pistorius' just failed to make the cut for the south african able bodied team..... "
Well, if a person were able to pull off a perfect legal reaction time of 0.1 secs and then nail the best 10m splits ever run, they'd run a 9.56 sec 100m.