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2009年8月29日 (土)

さらなるボルトの世界記録に期待

24日付け朝日新聞の社説より引用しました。
これは辞書なしでも90%以上理解できます。
遠心力 centrifugal forces
重心 center of gravity
などの単語も覚えてください
読解力をつけるために多読は必要不可欠です。
近道はありません。

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 22(IHT/Asahi: August 24,2009)
EDITORIAL: Bolt flashes to more world records
さらなるボルトの世界記録に期待

The man was in a totally different league from the other competitors. He ran with unparalleled speed down the bright blue track.

At the World Athletics Championships, Jamaican Usain Bolt won the men's 200 meters in 19.19 seconds, soundly beating his own world record of 19.30 seconds by 0.11 second.

This was his second victory following his world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 meters. The American silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics, Shawn Crawford, who finished fourth, called Bolt a gift to the world and a blessing to the sport of track.

Even his competitors cannot help but forget their bitterness and sing his praises. Bolt is that astounding.

His amazing run in the 100 meters was stunning, but his performance in the 200 meters was also spectacular.

While the 100 meters record had been broken frequently over the years, it had been difficult to establish a new world record in the 200 meters. New records have been established about once a decade.

This is because in the 200 meters, the athletes must run the first 120 meters around a bend and then finish with a straight sprint. They are required to cope with centrifugal forces from the start, while accelerating at the same time, which requires incredible skill.

In 1996, Michael Johnson of the United States ran the 200 meters in 19.66 seconds, beating the previous world record for the first time in 17 years. One month later at the Atlanta Olympics, he beat his own record, clocking 19.32 seconds in front of 80,000 people. Johnson's performance was simply awesome. People called him "superhuman," and said his record wouldn't be broken for a century.

However, Bolt beat Johnson's record at the Beijing Olympics last year, and beat it mightily yet again at the latest games.

Johnson is 185 centimeters tall, but has a long torso and his center of gravity is quite low. His physique was thought to be ideal to resist the centrifugal forces while running the curve, and therefore perfect for the 200 meters race. In contrast, Bolt is 196 centimeters tall and has long legs. Yet his physique, thought to be unsuited for the race, caused him no problems at all, and he blazed to the finish line.

Before the start Bolt kids around, making faces and funny gestures. So much so that we worry that he's too relaxed. But being relaxed is exactly the source he taps to unleash fully all of his powers.

The Jamaican sprinter's running form is different from the conventional style that keeps the upper body still. From the front, we can see Bolt swaying his upper body first in an S-curve, then swaying backward in a counter-S curve. As a result, his four limbs lithely snap forward. It is as if he is a wild animal. His running style presumably converts his form into propulsion in a highly effective manner.

Bolt said that he sets no limits and that anything is possible.

Despite his height, which was believed to be unsuitable for short races, Bolt established world records, defying conventional wisdom.

After Bolt, there will come a time when it is not unusual to see sprinters over 190 centimeters tall take their marks at the starting line. And the day will come when Bolt's own record, which seems so amazing now, will be broken.

Sprints starkly highlight the abilities and limitations of humans. Bolt's running reminds us of the unlimited possibilities in human beings.

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