>>> >> Bob Costas and NBC sports claims that Michael Johnson is the
>>> >> fastest man in the world.
>>> >> Michael Johnson (200m): 19.32 sec ==> 23+ mph
>>> >> Donovan Bailey (100m): 9.84 sec ==> 22+ mph.
>>> >> Therefore, according to NBC sports, Michael Johnson is faster.
>>> >> But this is BOGUS mathematics. And if I be less generous, a
>>> >> perpetrated fraud to cultivate commercial value.
>>> There's nothing wrong with NBC's statement. (I can't believe I'm
>>> defending NBC's Olympic coverage!) It could be more accurately stated:
>>> Michael Johnson averaged 23+ mph, and
>>> Donovan Bailey averaged 22+ mph.
>> Yes, but the average is a meaningless stat, if you
>> want to treat the 200m as two 100m races and combine
>> the times, the significant event would be "2" stop-start
>> points for 200 metres run 100 metres at a time...and "1"
>> stop-start point for the actual 200 metre race. Thus,
>> where the 200 metre runner loses time near the end of his
>> race (stamina)...he gains that time back and _MORE_ when the
>> 100 metre runner is penalized by the additional stop-start
>> point. Who knows how much time he gets back...but clearly
>> 200m is a race of speed and endurance...while 100m is purely
>> speed. And THAT makes Donovan Bailey the fastest man on Earth.
>100 M requires more than speed: acceleration and quick reactions are
>also factors that separate world class competitors.
>Also, which runners best handled the psychological factors of two
>false starts and the extended delay by that runner who was
>disqualified? How did that affect the outcome?
>>> Given the data at hand, we cannot know what either runner's peak speed
>> No, but we can definitely know that a stop-start penalty
>> would greatly assist our understanding of the 200m and 100m
>> races, respectively...and that 200m is simply not 100m
>> run twice....which is exactly what NBC was trying to assert.
>> Heck, if we clocked the final 70 metres between 30m and 100
>> metres, I'm sure Donovan would clock somewhere over 25+ mph.
>Can I paraphase your original point to say that NBC should not be
>comparing runners who run at different distances? and that their
>effort to do so is lacking in sound mathematics?
>Maybe so. But why not make the comparison? We're doing it. It's
>interesting food for thought and I think any couch potato watching the
>games knows that 19.32 sec in 200 M does not equate to 9.66 sec in 100
>Meanwhile, our attempts (yours, mine, others...) at more rigorous
>comparison of these races are also lacking. Other factors to be
>1.) The 200 M race is run on a curve.
>2.) The starting blocks are staggered in the 200 M.
>3.) Runners do not accelerate in the same time & distance.
>4.) Carl Lewis was not a good accelerator, yet still won the 100 M. I
>guess that's why he won both the 100 M and the 200 M in the same year:
>because his asset was his maximum speed. Other great 100 M runners
>rely more on their ability to accelerate.
>5.) Reaction time - also more important in a shorter race.
>I bet there's other factors also that have yet to be mentioned is this
>Now I don't like NBC's coverage either. The only time you see
>anything but gymnastics, swimming, or marquis track & field events is
>when the U.S. is winning a gold medal (some exageration here). But
>they are just showing the sports that will bring in the largest
>audience they can get for their advertisors. It's how the free
>market works. So I don't care for Olympic TV coverage in the same way
>that I don't care for People magazine. Most people like it; just not
>Perhaps what needs to be changed is how the American public view these
>games. We're just not interested unless an American is going to win.
>How can we change that?