Men Show Negligible Difference Over Women in Shorter Sprints

With Peter Weyand, director of SMU’s Locomotor Performance Lab, PhD candidate Emily McClelland assessed female performance differences using information from recognized worldwide sporting tournaments such as the Olympics and World Championships. The researchers reasoned that the performance gaps between men and women would be less pronounced over shorter distances based on these results.

McClelland has always had a natural interest in the scientific underpinnings of human performance. He was a successful athlete and previously served as Bowling Green State University’s associate director of strength and conditioning.


Strength, Speed and Endurance Capacities of Athletes

More generally, it has been difficult for modern sports to assess the relative strength, speed and endurance capacities of male and female players. However, quantitative research on female performance disparities for short sprint events has gotten little attention before the recent SMU study. McClelland’s theory that sex differences in sprint running ability would be very small and increase with distance was based on her background about male-female variations in force/mass capacities and current data trends.

Her initial notion was supported by a review of race data from authorized international tournaments between 2003 and 2018. These results showed that from the shortest to the longest sprint events, the disparity between male and female performance time rose with event distance, from 8.6% to 11%. (60 to 400 meters). A more prominent trend across distance was found by within-race analysis of each 10-meter segment of the 100-meter event. Sex differences grew from a low of 5.6% for the first segment to a high of 14.2% for the last segment.

Why Men Run Faster than Women at Shorter Sprint Distances

Human males and females differ significantly in body size, unlike other sprinting species like horses and dogs. Body size disparities cause muscle force-to-body mass ratios to be higher in relatively smaller individuals when all other factors are constant. Greater force/mass ratios of smaller people theoretically offer a relative advantage since sprinting velocities depend on the mass-specific forces runners can generate during the foot-to-ground contact portion of the stride. Additionally, a female runner may benefit from more steps and pushing cycles per unit of time during the race’s acceleration phase due to her shorter legs.

These elements counteract the advantages of males, such as longer legs and more muscle, which become more important over longer distances.

Take Jamaican track and field great Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, who is 5’0″ tall, 115 pounds, and has won two gold medals at the Olympics and five gold medals at the World Championships in the 100-meter race. Her time at the 40-yard line of a 100-meter race was projected to be as quick as 4.51 seconds, which is faster than the times of over half of all running backs and wide receivers that took the 2022 Scouting Combine test for the National Football League. Most of these potential NFL football players are over 6′ tall and weigh 200 pounds, in contrast to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Source: Medindia

Source link
#Men #Show #Negligible #Difference #Women #Shorter #Sprints

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *