November 18, 2009
By Chris Lehourites, AP Sports Writer
LONDON — The prosthetic legs of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius give the South African a 10-second advantage over a 400-meter race, according to a new study.
Human performance researchers Peter Weyand of Southern Methodist University and Matthew Bundle of the University of Wyoming found that Pistorius, who has been cleared to compete against able-bodied athletes, runs the distance 10 seconds faster than he would if his prosthetic limbs behaved like normal legs.
Their conclusion will be published Thursday in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
"Pistorius' sprinting mechanics are anomalous, advantageous and directly attributable to how much lighter and springier his artificial limbs are," Weyand said in a statement. "The blades enhance sprint running speeds by 15-30 percent."
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