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Oscar Pistorius: Previously confidential study results released on amputee sprinter

ouston, Texas.

The scientific team compared Oscar Pistorius to track athletes with intact limbs to evaluate his:

  • Energy cost of running
  • Fatigue resistance
  • Sprinting mechanics

The team concluded that:

  • Pistorius' energy cost of running is similar to that of accomplished male distance runners, but 17% lower than that of performance-matched male sprinters.
  • Pistorius' ability to hold his speed over longer sprint races is identical to that of intact-limb athletes.
  • Pistorius sprinting mechanics are markedly dissimilar to intact-limb track athletes.

At top speed:

  • He exerts considerably less force on the ground in relation to his body weight than intact-limb runners.
  • His foot is in contact with the ground 14% longer on each sprinting step
  • He spends 34% less time in the air between steps
  • He takes 21% less time to reposition (swing) his legs between steps.

In summary, the team concluded that Pistorius' physiology (energy cost and fatigability) is generally similar to that of intact-limb athletes, but his sprint running mechanics are markedly dissimilar.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Peter Weyand, indicated "I am pleased that we can now completely disclose our results because our study includes critical new data not presented in the CAS eligibility hearing. In addition to informing an interested public, full disclosure is in the best interests of Oscar Pistorius, other track athletes and the sport of Track and Field. The controversy raised by Oscar's inspiring performances presents a pivotal case for the future regulation of prosthetic and other technology in organized athletics. Accordingly, disseminating all the available facts is essential. I am relieved that all of our data are now available, particularly the mechanical data that are most relevant to the controversy and which were not part of the CAS hearing."


Contact: Kim Cobb
Southern Methodist University

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Oscar Pistorius: Previously confidential study results released on amputee sprinter
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