Why Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell are thriving in the 100m and 200m

Why Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell are thriving in the 100m and 200m

Jamaica has a population of just over 3 million. At the Olympics, Jamaica won more medals than any other country except the United States, Russia and Kenya. Five world records were broken at the Olympics, three of them by Jamaica in the men’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. Jamaica was represented in 13 of the 14 sprints, relays and hurdles finals. They won 7 of the 12 possible medals in the 100m and 200m and a clean win in the women’s 100m. Usain Bolt broke the 200m world record in a headwind. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell are now the fastest of all time. Powell is second to Maurice Greene in the under 10 seconds category. Bolt has 3 of the top 10 200m times in history. Michael Johnson has only 2. The 2 Jamaican men have broken the world record three times. The Jamaican women took the first places in the 100-meter dash.

They finished top 2 in both the 100m and 200m. So what’s the secret of the Jamaican sprinters’ success? Spring; Many credit the success to Dennis Johnson, the father of Jamaica’s college sprint. Dennis Johnson was trained by Loyd C “Bud” Winter, a legendary sprint coach in the USA. When Johnson returned to Jamaica, he brought many of Winter’s ideas to the island. Although Jamaica’s sprint program is simple at first glance, their coaches are very experienced and knowledgeable. Glen Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach, was also responsible for the success of Raymond Stewart, a world-class sprinter of the 1980s. Stephen Francis, Asafa Powell’s trainer, has other successful athletes such as Sherone Simpson, Michael Frater and Brigitte Foster-Hylton. The trainers have great attention to detail and technique. The facilities are basic and rundown compared to other sprint programs in the US, but according to Denis Shaver, a top US coach, the Jamaicans have a lot of talented individuals. At the University of Technology in Jamaica, athletes train on a grass track that is uneven and bumpy. The track lines are burned into the surface with diesel because they can’t afford the weekly chalk marking on the lawn. The weight room is basic with old rusty machines.

However, could it be that the basic facilities available to Jamaican sprinters are a reason for their success? Most world-class sprint programs train on synthetic rubber surfaces. The Jamaicans train on both, but mostly on grass. Sprinting on different surfaces can affect the work of the leg muscles. For example, sprinting on a soft surface requires muscles to work harder than on a hard surface. On a soft surface, the body has to work harder to stabilize. The muscles will try to stretch as little as possible so the tendons can do most of the work. This leads to stronger muscles over time. Exercising on a softer surface requires the tendons to become more stretchy (more compliant) to store and release energy when the foot leaves the ground. Having to make do with grass as the main training ground could well be an advantage for the Jamaicans. Jamaican coaches insist on a heavy workload on the mountain all year round. When sprinting uphill, the muscles responsible for accelerating the body to top speed during the short sprints are specifically stressed. The Jamaicans also attach great importance to distance sprints. What exactly is overdistance sprint training?

In overdistance training, sprint runs are completed over 150-600% of the competition distance. When sprinting, this improves the body’s ability to use sugar for energy. Energy catalysts known as enzymes increase focus, resulting in improvements in strength, speed, and endurance. They also train for speed all year round. The weather is favorable for sprint training. How to train like the Jamaican sprinters. Find a good trainer who understands technology and your event. Train on different surfaces, but mainly on soft surfaces. Sprint uphill. Sprint both long distances and short ones.

Thanks to Martey Newman | #Jamaicas #Usain #Bolt #Asafa #Powell #thriving #100m #200m


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