Why it's getting harder to break world records

  Our reporter Zhu Yanan

  "Worker's Daily" (August 17, 2022 Edition 08)

  From 46.91 to 46.86, the world record in the men's 100-meter freestyle was finally rewritten after 13 years of dust. A few days ago, in the men's 100-meter freestyle competition at the European Swimming Championships in Rome, Italy, a 17-year-old teenager from Romania David Popovich won the championship with a time of 46.86 seconds, breaking the world record set by Brazil's Cesar Cielo in 2009 during the fast swimsuit era.

  With an improvement of 0.05 seconds, generations of men's freestyle 100 meters have gone through 13 years.

But for Popovich, it took him only 53 days to go from the world youth record holder in the men's 100m freestyle to the current world record holder.

  At the World Swimming Championships in Budapest in June this year, Popovich was a blockbuster, winning consecutive men's freestyle 100m and 200m championships.

In this European Championship, he won the championship with a world record-breaking performance. Now Popovich has deeply impressed his name on the star spectrum of men's short-distance freestyle.

  It is worth mentioning that history always leaves coincidences inadvertently.

In 2009, it was in this pool in Rome that Cielo set the men's 100-meter freestyle world record.

Today, a young teenager has broken the human limit in the same pool, marking the entry of a new era in the men's 100-meter freestyle.

  The international swimming world was once the stage for the "batch" generation of world records.

Since the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, the appearance and popularity of the fast swimsuit "shark skin" has caused the swimming pools of the world to be stirred frantically.

From 2000 to 2009, a large number of world records were produced in swimming pools every year.

In 2008 alone, there were 108 new world swimming records.

Among them, American star Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals and broke 4 world records in the Beijing Olympics with the help of a "shark skin" swimsuit.

  In the face of increasingly crazy "high-tech plug-ins", FINA has banned the use of high-tech swimsuits since 2010.

Since then, international swimming has faced a difficult record-breaking challenge.

It is really difficult to break those world records with high-tech swimsuits, relying entirely on body and technology.

It can be seen that this time Popovich can break the world record in the era of fast swimsuits, which is worthy of surprise.

  Throughout the history of sports development, in addition to the world records of basic sports such as swimming and track and field, it has gradually become more difficult to rewrite in recent years.

  For example, the legendary men's 100m star Bolt broke through the men's 100m speed limit for the first time in 2008. In his 13-year career, he has repeatedly challenged the speed limit of human sprinting.

Whether in the 100-meter or 200-meter arena, the two world records of 9.58 and 19.19 will be beyond the reach of the pursuers for a long time to come.

  At the same time, there are still some records in the track and field that can't be rewritten "forever" due to technical reasons.

  In 1984, former GDR athlete Uwe Horn became the world's first male javelin thrower to break the 100 meters.

However, due to safety concerns, the World Athletics Federation moved the center of gravity of the men's javelin forward by 4 cm since April 1, 1986 to limit the gliding performance of the javelin. Horn's 104.80-meter world record for men's javelin, It became a "permanent world record".

  According to the statistics of the World Athletics Federation, the "earliest" world record in the international track and field world is the women's 800-meter world record (1:53.28) set by former Czechoslovak star Kratokhvinova in 1983. 40 years and no one can beat it.

In addition, the world records of the men's hammer throw (1986) and the women's long jump (1988) have been difficult to rewrite.

  "China Sports Science and Technology", a journal of the Institute of Physical Education of the General Administration of Sports of the People's Republic of China, once wrote that there are comprehensive factors such as social, economic, cultural, historical and technological factors at play behind the production of sports records.

The probability of breaking the world records in the next 30 years will stabilize at a low probability.

"On the premise that the existing human genes, morphology, technology and other conditions have not changed, it is difficult for the sports world record to have explosive growth again."

  Every time after breaking the physical limit of human beings, sports will record this great feat with one label after another.

And the emergence of each new record allows mankind to write a new scale on the "knot" of sports development.

In the process of creation and breaking, the limits of sports are repeatedly challenged, which is the significance of sports records to human life.