carnegieXchange: School of Sport
Exterior of Carnegie School of Sport building

It marks not only the first day of the 2022 World Athletics Championships, but also the fourth anniversary of the release of the IAAF Biomechanics Research Project reports to great acclaim, produced by the Carnegie School of Sport.

The reports are free to download from the World Athletics website and have been accessed by athletics coaches, athletes, scientists, and fans, with more than 2,000 downloads on the first day of their release. Many of the peer-reviewed studies by Carnegie School of Sport staff from this project, with more than 25,000 reads so far, are also available from ResearchGate.

These scientific reports covered 38 athletic events from the 2017 World Championships in London, and were the result of the extensive labours of more than 40 staff and students from across the School of Sport. Overall, the expert team spent more than a year preparing, training, collecting data, analysing results, and producing the reports.

The impact of the reports, the most extensive of many in the sport’s history, has been felt across the athletics world. For example, Craig Pickering, a former British international athlete, uses the reports in his current role with Athletics Australia in developing their elite “What It Takes To Win” models that each event coach uses to monitor their athletes.

PJ Vazel, a world-renowned sprint and throws coach in France, describes our biomechanics reports as “goldmines”, where the data serve as references for training results, and which can only be obtained through high-quality biomechanical research.

Likewise, Laurent Meuwly, Head Coach at the Dutch Athletics Federation for world-class athletes over 400m and 400m hurdles, uses the IAAF reports as a benchmark for elite performances and also in coach education.

Dr Trent Stellingwerff, of the Canadian Sport Institute, tells us that coaches and scientists he works with continue to refer to the data, and that the middle-distance reports he provided commentaries for are used for discussion and teaching of race tactics in the Canadian track team.

The race analyses conducted also help Ned Brophy-Williams, an Australian sports physiologist and coach who works with Olympic middle-distance runners, who says that the reports were a real game changer, shaping his coaching and particularly his preparations for Tokyo and other major competitions.

The positive feedback from coaches worldwide shows the benefits to the athletics community of this advanced field-based research, and demonstrates the need for more analyses of this applied nature. Through the Centre for Human Performance, we are committed to driving forward our work in athletics, such as our scientific support for the Leeds Athletics Talent Hub.

In particular, work of this kind can look to capitalise on technological advances in biomechanics, allowing the School of Sport to provide further insights into athlete performance and health across abilities.

Find out more about the research projects associated with World Athletics here: 
View the IAAF Biomechanics Research Project outputs: 


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