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J Biomech. 2007;40(11):2564-8. Epub 2007 Jan 31.

Kinematic analysis of the 100-m wheelchair race.

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  • 1Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. jchow@hhp.ufl.edu


The purpose of this study was to compare the speed and selected stroke cycle characteristics during different phases of the 100-m wheelchair race for paraplegic athletes. Four male and two female wheelchair racers in T4 classification and one male and three female athletes in T3 classification served as the participants. Two S-VHS camcorders (60 fields/s) were panned horizontally to cover the first and second 50 m of the 100-m race, respectively. Average speed, stroke length and frequency, contact and recovery times during the first 10 m (initial acceleration phase, IAP), the maximum speed phase (MSP), and the last 10 m (final phase, FP) of the race were determined. For each parameter, an ANOVA with repeated measures was performed and Tukey post hoc tests were completed when appropriate (alpha=0.01). The 100-m times ranged from 16.10 to 22.18 s. Significant differences were found between IAP and MSP and between IAP and FP in stroke speed, stroke length, and push and recovery times, but not in stroke frequency. The relatively constant stroke frequency across different phases may suggest that wheelchair racers like to maintain the same stroking rhythm throughout a 100-m race. The distance and time needed to reach the maximum speed ranged from 43.9 m and 11.2 s to 82.2 m and 18.9 s, respectively. The significant correlation between 100-m time and maximum speed (p<0.001) signifies the importance of maximum speed in determining 100-m performance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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