When Jamaican Usain Bolt set the world record for 9 seconds and 58 hundredths in 2009, many of us thought that man had reached the speed limit and that the record would not be surpassed.
In recent months, however, the media in many countries have insisted that Bolt already has a strong candidate to break his mark and it is not exactly the hundred-meter runners who today adorn the international scene, including Americans Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman, who like many others were already glimpsed by the new candidate.
This is another American… and only seven years old! His name is Rudolph Ingram and last Sunday, February 10, he amazed the world with the release of a video showing how he wins the sixty-hundred-meter flat children’s trials for the Amateur Athletes Union (AAU) Championships, in which he has won more than thirty medals in the past three years , of which twenty gold.
The striking thing is not that he won, something he’s already used to, but the times he did. In the sixty meters he scored 8.69 seconds and in the hundred nothing more and nothing less than 13.48! The registration surpassed the previous world mark in the category, also in its possession since August 2018 with 14.59. A comparative look highlights that in six months the young prodigy lowered his best time by more than a second. Those chronos didn’t even get close to the greatest runners in history when they were the same age.
However, Ingram was already known since last year when images of him were “uploaded” to cyberspace by the exceptional basketball player Lebron James, in which the child is seen both in training and competitions. The material quickly went viral due to the number of reproductions.
Now, who is this child?
Rudolph Ingram whom they call “Blaze” (something like glowing, Shining, Burning) was born in Tampa, Florida, on August 13, 2011 and is the son of American football coach Rudolph Ingram Sr. Seven years old, a height of 1.18 meters and weight of 21.6 kilograms, the new jewel in world sport is part of the Flag Football Tampa Ravens team and is also a model of children’s fitness.
The prestigious ENGLISH News Agency BBC recently published an extensive report on his career in which the father, proud to have the world children’s record player at home, also highlighted his son’s potential beyond the court and football field: “He works as hard in the classroom as on the field, here are his qualifications at Cahoon Elementary School in Tampa , has the maximum (A) in subjects such as Science, Introduction to Computing, Music and Physical Education, while Language Arts, Social Studies and Art, saves them with (B)”.
For his part, coach Jimmy Watson stressed: “His development is impressive in both athletics and football. As a runner, you can count on him to carry the team on his back and take us to the promised land. As long as on the court it’s as dodged as it is fast. He has a vision like he’s never seen before in a child his age. In a second, he goes in one direction and then you blink and goes in another. He runs very aggressively. It’s one in a million.”
Because of his young age, Rudolph is still unable to define whether he likes athletics or football better. For him they are simply two disciplines he faces as a game, although he certainly spends more time on the court than on the court. The subject was referred to by the child on more than one occasion in the last six months: “Athletics increases my speed and control over my body, while training prepares me for football.”
In the history of American sport there are at least more than forty athletes who practiced both disciplines simultaneously or one before and the other later, and almost at the same level. Perhaps the best-known case is that of Bob Beamon, who won the Long Jump of the World Olympics in Mexico and soon after became an NFL star. Therefore, it is not imperative that at such a young age Blaze has to define where he wants to make a career.
The other thing that is also true is the ability to work and how to deal with each challenge: “My dad told me that I have to win mentally first before doing it physically, so I’m always number one before a race. I work hard in practice to set the bar high for my teammates. I want to show you that we have to give them everything we have. If you don’t know how to do something, I’ll show you how to do it. I always repeat to them that you practice the way you play,” he said to various media outlets.
Now, and we go back to the beginning, will Rudolph Ingram break the world record for a hundred meters flat?
Beating Usain Bolt is still far away, though not as far as we thought almost ten years ago. I don’t think Vince Coleman, perhaps today’s strongest runner, can do it. Then futuristic looks reach the African-American child, but it’s still missing.
Everything seems to indicate that, for the time being, it has the conditions to reach the physique of Usain Bolt. Looks like he can get over 1.90 in his stature, and that’s decisive. Bolt measures 1.95 when the average height of sprinters is 1.85 and that difference caused the Jamaican for each stride to surpass his rivals by almost fifteen centimetres. That’s what the new talent of speed has to aspire to, if you want to overcome it.
To cover the hundred meters at 9.58 Usain Bolt averaged 37.6 km/h and even had a peak of 44.7 km/h. So far no one has come near those heights.
However, although what has been achieved by the so-called “Speed Lightning” has not been matched, scientists Hannah Fry and Adam Rutherford, who investigate what makes us fast and if some people have greater physical advantages to running at high speeds, consider that not the limit for a hundred flat meters.
They consulted, among others, Peter Weyand, a global expert in running biomechanics, and a professor at Southern Methodist University in Texas, United States, who considers the saying, among runners, that sprinters are born and not made real. He also explained that there are certain features that are essential for faster running.
The American scientist also said that a special body is required, you can’t have much weight and you need the predominance of fast-shrinking muscle fibers. These, according to the expert, work similarly to speed changes on a bike, which are used according to different circumstances.
Other scientists argue that slow-shrinking muscles in the legs are the ones we usually use to be standing and walking. They contract more slowly and take longer to generate strength. Therefore, speeding requires further development of fast-shrinking muscle fibers that are more energetic and apply strength to the ground in a short period of time, although they fatigue quickly.
Some have suggested that sprinters have a much higher proportion of these fast-shrinking muscles, while marathon runners have slower shrinkage fibers, which give them greater endurance.
In response to these factors, and much more technical and genetic factors, Sports Engineering Professor Steve Haake of the University of Sheffield calculated that under ideal conditions man could run 100 meters in 9 seconds and 41 hundredths (seventeen seconds less than Jamaican Bolt), although he predicted it, at least for twenty years.
Rudolph Ingram, will turn eight in August eight, in twenty he will be twenty-eight, perhaps a little earlier he may be the one who surpasses the current record. Ω