A in lane 4. In the final, Burke did

A must-see event, the 100m. Often touted as the blue ribbon
event of any athletic competition. Here, there is only ten seconds to gain
sporting immortality. Barely the time it takes to read these words. When
watched the race often looks easy, just run from one end of the track to the
other. But at every phase of a 100 metre, there is a challenge to winning. From
start to finish, you need to be 100% effective in carrying out each stage. This
text examines each stage of the 100 metres history to reveal how the race has
been run faster and faster. It tells a 100-year story made within fractions of
seconds, and how the greatest sprinters have used innovation and talent to win
and make this explosive burst of speed the most electrifying spectacle in any

 From the beginning, the
manner in which the 100 metre has started has its own history. Athens 1896, the
inaugural Olympics, the holder of the first 100m Olympic final. In the final,
there were as many ways to start as there were runners. 21 year old student Tom
Burke, from Boston University lined up in lane 4. In the final, Burke did
something that would forever change how the race would begin. He changed his
stance from a standing one to a crouching one. In 1896 Tom Burke was the first
to use the now textbook crouching start. This separated him from the others
that were merely using unique variations of a standing start. The crouching
start allows science to help, driving the sprinter forward faster. As in the
100m you want to propel yourself at a unique angle and with as much
explosiveness as possible. So being coiled up in a crouch, would allow you to
apply more force and achieve the angles needed in a shorter period of time than
if you’re just standing upright. The innovative new start won Burke the race in
a time of 12 seconds.

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 Another timely innovation
also helped sprinters get the right start to the race. In the earlier editions
of the Olympics, there were no starting blocks for the sprinters to use. To
bypass this athletes would dig holes into the cinder tracks using shovels so
that they were able to get secure footing, as you needed something stable to
drive hard against, to prevent slipping out at the beginning.*add info about
the way blocks were used*

Excellent reaction times, often stated as the ability to
react to the gun, are a requirement for a good 100m start. Your reaction time
needs to be as swift as possible. You have to react to the gun. A quick
reaction immediately gives you an edge that turns into metres of advantage.
Allowing yourself to be shocked by the gun enables a, quicker, more reflexive
start, than if you’re trying to listen for the gun. Good reaction times is a
skill however and therefore can be taught. British sprinter Harold Abrahams, trained
with his coach, Sam Mussabini to master the challenge of the gun. They also
trained for the right finish, where he would rehearse dipping to the finish
over and over again. Abrahams was part of a generation of athletes more
rigorous in their approach to the race than earlier amateurs. And this helped
Abrahams and others to run the race faster.