- Beijing - Olympic Games - sport
Usain Bolt could have run the Olympic 100m in 9.55 seconds had he not eased up before crossing the finish line, according to a scientific study released Thursday.
The 22-year-old Jamaican broke his own 100m world record to win Olympic gold, clocking 9.69sec despite decelerating in the final 15 metres, opening up his arms and thumping his chest as he crossed the line.
Hans Eriksen and his colleagues at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo, Norway, used television footage to measure Bolt's positions, speeds and accelerations as well as those of the runner-up, Richard Thompson, the London-based New Scientist magazine reported.
Their measurements show both Bolt and Thompson decelerating in the final two seconds of the race, with a larger drop in speed for Bolt, it said.
"We don't mean to say that this is the final and ultimate result," Eriksen said. "Instead, it's a fun application of simple physics, and we've done the best we can."