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100 metre World record can be lowered, expert predicts

24 December 2006
www.sportingeagle.com

By Steve Kallouen

According an expert in the field of extreme values, the 100-metres world record can be lowered by another half-second before man reaches his limits.

A report from the Associated Press stated that a study by Prof. John Einmahl of Germany’s Tilberg university predicted Asafa Powell’s current record of 9.77 seconds mark in the event could be reduced to a 9.29.

“For a lot of athletes it is probably depressing when they are confronted with our extreme values,” Einmahl told the German news agency dpa. “But this is a very serious study - the extreme theory as a part of mathematics and statistics is an accepted science."

The Dutch mathematician studied world records in 14 disciplines, feeding the best marks of 1,546 male and 1,024 female athletes into a computer.

The report noted that women marathon runners have lots of room to shatter Paula Radcliffe’s current marathon mark of 2:15.25. They can be expected to lower it by 8:50.

Even more convincing, Michael Johnson’s 200 record of 19.32 could drop to 18.63, while athletes can lower Chinese star, Liu Xiang’s 110-metre hurdle mark of 12.88 by a half second.

Einmahl said his field doesn’t recognize the impossible, but accepts the unbelievable, acknowledging that there is plenty of room for extraordinary performances that will turn his results upside down.



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