This video is one of a series of free public lectures on Maths in Sport given for Gresham College by Professor John D Barrow FRS, Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project and Gresham Professor of Geometry.

How Fast Can Usain Bolt Run?

How can Usain Bolt improve his world 100 metres sprint record significantly without improving his speed? How fast should he be able to run? We will also examine the mechanics of sprinting and the effects of wind assistance, timing accuracy, and altitude on sprint times and look at the status of the long-standing women’s sprint world records set by the late Florence Griffiths Joyner (‘Flo-Jo’) in 1988.

You can download John Barrow's PowerPoint slides for this lecture, as well as a copy of this video, or the audio file, from the Gresham College website.

Usain Bolt image credit: Bob Ramsak / piran café