Conclusion sprinters are therefore characterized by a shorter




In the
duration of the flight phase parameter the groups do not differ. Better sprinters
have on the average only a 1.5ms shorter flight time. However, it is the ratio
between the contact time and the flight time that is important in the kinematic
structure of the sprinting stride. For better runners (group A) this ratio is 41:59,
for worse sprinters (group B) 43:57. Better sprinters are therefore
characterized by a shorter contact phase and longer flight phase and worse
sprinters the opposite.

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The second kinematic
parameter of maximal velocity, which is on the verge of statistical significance
(p = 0.06) and differentiates sprinters according to quality, is stride rate.
Better sprinters have on the average a rate 0.15 strides/s higher than worse
ones. The fastest sprinter in our sample has also the highest absolute stride
rate of 4.93 strides/s. The results of this study confirm the findings of

12, 16, 25, that stride rate has a more important role in realizing maximal velocity
than stride length. There is no statistically significant difference between the
groups in our experiment in the average stride length. Stride length is a
complex kinematic parameter, dependent on numerous factors, among these the
morphologic Characteristics of the sprinter are important, especially leg
length. Maximal sprinting velocity is the result of an optimal model of stride
rate and stride

length26, 27
for the individual athlete. This model is fixated in a motor program in the
central nervous system and is very individually defined. Donatti (1995)8 gives a
formula for computing the optimal stride length (stride length = leg length
2.60 / 100m + 10%; ex: 1.02 2.60 = 2.652, 100m/

2.652 =
37.70 strides + 10% = 41.47 strides/ 100m). The optimal theoretic model of the 100m
sprint is, according to this formula, for the better group 41.47 strides and
for the worse group 40.66 strides. The actual number of strides of the better
group was 45.24 and the worse group 46.08. The worse group of sprinters
therefore shows a greater departure from their ideal number

Of strides
(5.42) than the better group, where the difference is on the average just

3.67 strides
over the 100m distance. In the starting acceleration, where the two sub-samples
significantly differ in quality (p < 0.01), the kinematic parameters change very dynamically, from the stride length and rate point of view, as well as according to the duration of the stride contact and flight phases28,29. The stride rate and length increase, the contact times shorten and the flight times lengthen. Average contact time is the only one that significantly differentiates the sprinters in the starting acceleration. Better sprinters have on the average contact times 6.33ms shorter than worse sprinters. It is quite surprising that the two sub-samples do not differ in stride rate, since it would be logical to suppose that shorter contact times generate higher stride rates. Obviously this phase of sprinting does not depend only on the biomechanical structure of the strides but equally on an efficient start and proper Inter-muscular co-ordination of agonists and antagonists while increasing sprinting velocity.


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