Body structure of the perfect sprinter

what would the perfect sprinter be like? what kind of limb lengths/ratios would he have? very long achilles? limb thicknesses, especially lower leg seem to be quite important. say if someone were to genetically engineer the perfect sprinter. tall, short? obviously fast twitch would be important and an incredible CNS and great adaptation to training etc. i know this is a very hard question to answer fully, but could anyone give me a rough outline.

and no-one say a cheetah…

Probably Donovan Bailey or Shawn Crawford body.

this is really a moot question cause there are so many factors that go into being a “perfect” sprinter. a lack of one trait can be made up by the strength of another. and if we are talking about genetically engineering someone lets make them with achilles up to their ass. their are beenfits to being a shorter sprtiner benefits to being a taller one benefits to be a light sprinter benefits to being a heavily muscled. so you see the problem with this question.

There is no ideal body shape. For example, look at the differences beween all of the sub 9.8 guys.

Why Shawn Crawford and Donovan Bailey? The likeness I can see between them is long achilles and a heavily muscled torso. Neither had particularly good mechanics, could that be due to their build?

Possibly due to:
Bailey’s late entrance into the sport (competitively).
Crawford not even getting a coach or being very serious until later in his career.

I was thinking more the ultra long legs (relatively), high achilles, and their height (neither are super tall, nor super short).

Yeah they’re both valid points. Also from a technical standpoint Trevor Graham never seemed to produce mechanically sound athletes. If you look at Montgomery, Gatlin and Crawford, none of them were ‘textbook’. However, Bailey is an interesting one I guess, as I’m sure Dan Pfaff’s degree was in Biomechanics, and other athletes coachd by him, such as Surin and Asahara, and Thompson to a certain degree were technically pretty sound. I know the name doesn’t jump out at you like Crawford or Bailey, but Darren Campbell possesses the two attributes you mentioned, and technically I believe is one of the best sprinters around.

a lot of u are looking at superficial factors. like the achilles, it is important but you can achilles up to the back of your neck and still not be able to sprint worth a damn. for those of u who said shawn crawford and bailey have th eperfect sprinting body, then why arent they the fastest. by this line of reasoning/logic asafa and justine have the perfect body for sprinting. they are the fastest are they not. but again this is a moot topic there are just too many factors to consider. and within those factors many different combinations can be had to produce the same results.

I agree that it is a very complicated issue that involves many factors, otherwise there would not be the physical variation there is within the population of elite male sprinters. I was just interested to see on what factors Donovan Bailey and Shawn Crawford came up.

Asafa and Gatlin both have fairly high achilles.
Bailey started getting serious about sprint when he was in his mid 20s? I am pretty sure that was a fairly huge factor. Crawford didn’t have a coach for some time and just ran whatever he felt like each day and was still dropping world class times. Again, that is just my opinion, not saying it is absolutely right or absolutely wrong.

Also, all sub 10 sprinters have a fairly long achilles. The only guy who is even remotely fast (at the elite level) that I have seen with a short achilles is Yepishin from Russia.

I didn’t expect to see much variation in Achilles lengths between the elite sprinters, but there does seem to be variation, suggesting to me that ULTRA long achilles arn’t essential. I’ve seen mediocre juniors with ‘balls behind their knees’ for calfs… longer achilles than any top sprinter i’ve seen.
Robert Emmiyan jumped 8.88m long jump with relatively short achilles.
Kangeroos have the longest achilles in the animal kingdom… and who has come neerest to replicating the spring of a Kangeroo… Jonathon Edwards, and he doesn’t seem to have very long achilles.

But a fairly long achilles is obviously desirable; so the PERFECT sprinter would have some long achilles for sure.

So who do you thinks got the LONGEST achilles in Sprinting… I saw a picture on the front of a book of some sprinter from the 80’s, I didn’t recognise him so he couldn’t have been that good but his calf’s actually DISAPPEARED into his upper leg when he flexed his knee… thats the longest achilles ive seen.

How can you tell how long your achilles is? Does anyone have photo examples of a long and short achilles?

There must be other guys as quick as Yepishen with longish calves. Did Coby Miller have particularly high calves. My friend Craig Pickering who last year at 18 ran 10.22 has long calves. I’m sure I will be able to come up with an example. Leave it with me!!

lol maris I guess we have different definitions of a long and short achilles because Pickering’s is not short. Look at Yepishin’s

That is a short achilles vs…

Greene, C. Miller, Gatlin

Interesting I just saw 2 different pictures of Pickering and both looked pretty different as far as achilles length goes. Kind of hard to tell. It may be short, but idk if as short as Yepishin’s.

what pictures did you see of craig?

Saw him in a doc. on sprinting (hosted by MJ–world’s fastest man I believe) and a pic on gettyimages.

oh yeah, that programme on Sky One last September. Well I started training with Craig when he was 14, and I remember thinking he had big long calves, and in fact he used to make fun of me for having skinnier calves. Although we measured them and I mine were larger (a couple of years ago at least). Mine appeared shorter and skinnier than his. I don’t know if you remember another junior, Jamahl Alert-Khan. He ran 20.79 I believe at 16 years old. I remember thinking he had big , long calves.

I am talking more achilles length rather than calves because Coby Miller has relatively long calves, but still has a long achilles.

how is pickering doing now anyway? how is training going for him?

surely though long calves and long achilles are mutually exclusive??? I may bot be understanding you properly. Yeah Craig is doing good. I think he was a bit disappointed with his summer, but he started rounding into better form then got injured. People often say it takes a year to settle into a new training environment, so we’ll see. Jason Gardener certainly had a better year after he had two winters in Malcolm Arnold’s group.