Tokyo’s Summer Heat Could Help Olympic Sprinters Run Faster


Warm, moist air is also less dense than cold air, reducing friction somewhat. This helps explain baseballs that travel farther when hit in warmer weather. As the temperature rises, the gas molecules in the air move faster and farther, lowering the resistance to moving objects. And contrary to what many people think, moist air is not heavier but lighter than dry air because water vapor displaces heavier nitrogen and oxygen molecules.

In places near sea level like Tokyo, the combination of heat and humidity should result in a reduction in air density of about 3 percent (compared to the 25 percent difference between sea level and 7,300 feet in Mexico City). 1968 Summer Olympics), said Chapman.

“Does a 1 to 3 percent change in air density affect performance? It has to,” he said. “It’s just what size is and how does that size compare to 57 other things that can affect an athlete’s performance from mental to physical to everything else?”

The main concerns for sprinters in Tokyo are not being properly hydrated and rested; avoiding the sun as much as possible and expending as little energy as necessary to advance on the front laps.

They may also want to pray for rain.

At the 1968 Olympics, Bob Beamon’s amazing long jumpIt came just before the storm, breaking the current record by nearly two meters. he did so of Wyomia Tyus Earth women’s 100m record. Clearly, height affected these performances. But Powell’s 1991 Beamon’s record-breaking jump also preceded a storm in Tokyo, just 130 feet above sea level.

Hussein Bolt Jamaica broke the world record in the 100m for the first time after a rainstorm at a meetup in New York ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A light rain fell after the current world record. 9.58 seconds, said observers at the 2009 world championships in Berlin.

“My focus was always running the race and I didn’t really care about the weather,” Bolt said.


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