World records set to tumble on Rio 2016’s nano-tech track

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The Rio 2016 running track is the fastest ever and records will fall

The running track of the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro passed inspection rounds on May 9th earlier this year and was unveiled to the world shortly afterwards. While, to many people it’s most striking feature might appear to be its deep royal blue colour – unlike the Olympic diving pool which just turned green – it has a bigger surprise in store, one that looks like it could send world records tumbling. And it’s here, on this track, that Jamaica’s Usain Bolt will attempt to defend the 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles he won at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games in what would be an unprecedented ‘triple-triple’.

The environment and weather that swirls around a track can have a huge impact on its performance so the new synthetic track, developed by Italian company Mondo has been specifically designed with Rio’s hot and humid conditions in mind .

 

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Andrea Vallauri, head of the sports division at Mondo told us that what makes this track special is their manufacturing process. The company used new nanotechnology fabrication methods to make minute molecular modifications to the materials of the track and to give it a new honeycomb structure which improves the tracks trampoline effect, the sum of which is that this is their fastest track ever. And it seems like the athletes agree and many pundits are now questioning whether the track, whose earlier iterations were trialled at London 2012 and in the Beijing 2015 athletics world championships is why three men went under 44 seconds in the men’s 400m final, and eight men went under 10 seconds in the heats of the men’s 100m.

“This surface is very different. Look at how it affected the male long jumpers and the hurdlers. The power guys just got too close to the hurdles and the long jumpers didn’t hit the board as much as usual. That is the speed of the track,” said Stuart McMillan, coach to Anaso Jobodwana, South Africa’s bronze medallist from the men’s 200m in Beijing.

“We got so many comments back from athletes saying Beijing 2015 was one of the best tracks they had ever performed on,” said Vallauri, “and for Rio we have improved a little bit again from Beijing… Rio is the ending of a natural evolution beginning in London.”

So if more world records fall at Rio 2016 it might be because the athletes just found (yet) another technology inspired 1 percent advantage.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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