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Old 08-10-2012, 04:45 AM   #94
Benhur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninman View Post
Yeah, I read something like that before. That's why he does 400m, he can't accelerate quickly enough for the 100m. But when he gets up to speed, then he's got the advantage.

But I just think this whole think about advantage or not is missing the point. Like you said, it isn't running, because everybody else has to do differently to him.
I agree that the “advantage vs disadvantage” way of looking at it is probably beside the point, because the only precise way to measure the balance would be to compare his racing with the racing he would do if he had not lost his legs as a child. Absent that, the fact that an advantage does exist, as has been pointed out by those who looked into it, should be plenty to make a decision against it. But then there is the whole media aspect of it. It’s a good story. And those who write about it in the mainstream press have to mince their words very carefully. Here is a SI article on it, where you can see the author prudently remains very ambiguous, in spite of the unambiguous information scattered throughout:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...ics/index.html

[excerpts]
Among track aficionados, certain statistical comparisons have raised eyebrows: Pistorius's 100- and 200-meter bests are similar to those of U.S. sprinter Allyson Felix, but he is 4.5 seconds faster than her in the 400. As Pistorius progressed to where he could compete for a spot on South Africa's national team, another South African 400 runner who was also fighting for a spot, Sibusiso Sishi, gave his opinion: "I don't mind racing [Pistorius], but I'm still a bit skeptical about his legs because they are man-made. They are carbon fiber, which means they are nice and light. I would just like him to do the tests so at least we know where we stand."
[…]
In May of 2008, based on Kram and Herr's testimony and the data the team collected in Weyand's lab, Pistorius was reinstated. The CAS ruling explicitly noted that though the prostheses give no energetic advantage relevant to sprinting, future scientific findings could still show that the Cheetah Flex-Feet give Pistorius a mechanical advantage. Eighteen months later, Weyand and Matthew Bundle, a biomechanist at Montana and one of the other scientists who did the testing that got Pistorius reinstated, came out and said that the Cheetahs do just that.

"It was dead obvious as soon as [Bundle and I] saw the data that Oscar has an advantage," says Peter Weyand, who now directs the SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory. "We haven't wavered from that interpretation since."
Because the CAS hearing examined specifically -- and only -- the IAAF's previous claims regarding Pistorius, it was not until the following year, when the scientific team published its full findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology, that the researchers who helped Pistorius earn the right to compete split into groups, with Weyand and Bundle contending that Pistorius has a massive advantage. To understand Weyand's reasoning, it helps to know a bit about the mechanics of sprinting.

[…]
Full article: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...ics/index.html
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