Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has called advances in spike technology “weird and unfair” ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
New sprint spikes feature superlight, energy-returning foam that could help athletes shave at least a tenth of a second off their time over 100m.
Bolt has previously said that with the new technology he could run the 100m in under 9.5 seconds, which would smash his world-record time of 9.58sec.
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“When I was told about it I couldn’t believe that this is what we have gone to, you know what I mean? That we are really adjusting the spikes to a level where it’s now giving athletes an advantage to run even faster,” Bolt told Reuters.
“It’s weird and unfair for a lot of athletes because I know that in the past they [shoe companies] actually tried and the governing body said ‘no, you can’t change the spikes’, so to know that now they are actually doing it, it’s laughable.”.
Bolt holds the record for 100m and 200m (19.19sec) but will not be competing in Tokyo as he has retired from sprinting in 2017.
American Trayvon Bromell is favourite to win the 100m title in Tokyo after running the fastest time over the distance in the world this year of 9.77sec.
He does not think the new technology is going to make a huge difference to results.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of data to show that they’re having such a big improvement,” Bromell said last week. “I know we [New Balance] are constantly building onto what we have to make the perfect spike, but for me personally as a runner I still feel like it’s not enough data to really show.”
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