Leeds Beckett University, in cooperation with the IAAF, will carry out the biggest biomechanics research project ever conducted in athletics during next month’s IAAF World Championships London 2017.
The aim of the project is to support athletes and coaches in optimisation and improvement of their training and competition performance.
Introduced by the IAAF in 1987 as a service to its member federations, several biomechanics research projects have been carried out at past major championships. But the project set to take place in London this year will be bigger and more in-depth than any that has gone before.
Dr Athanassios Bissas, a leading researcher and international expert on issues related to biomechanics of sports performance, will lead a team of 40 people from the Carnegie School of Sport. Deploying a selection of 40 cameras – comprising 25 high-speed cameras and 15 HD camcorders – a total of 17 events will be covered, most of which will have full biomechanical analysis. A team of analysts will work overnight to ensure quick turnaround of the results.
Full biomechanical analysis will be conducted for all finalists in the following events: 100m, 200m, 400m, 10,000m, marathon, 3000m steeplechase, 100m/110m hurdles, 4x100m, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, hammer and javelin.
In the sprinting events, the video footage will be analysed to produce 3D biomechanical data of variables such as stride length, stride frequency, ground contact times, joint angles and velocities and other important biomechanical variables.
The analysis of the distance events will include changes in fatigue in the 10,000m, foot-strike patterns in the marathon, and water jump hurdling technique in the steeplechase.
The throws analysis will focus on velocities at various stages of the throw, release angles, release height, segmental coordination and other key variables.
Meanwhile, analysis of jumping events will look at take-off characteristics such as angles and velocities, approach kinematics, various calculations of each phase in the triple jump, lean angles in the high jump, and approach velocity in the pole vault.
Key initial data will be made available at the IAAF World Coaches Conference on the mornings of 7, 8, 9 and 10 August.