Usain Bolt won yesterday the 100 m in Moscow (200 m above sea level) with a time of 9.77 his personal best this season but almost 0.19 seconds below his World Record (2009, in Berlin, 34 m above sea level).
But the race was held with a wind of -0.3 m/s – way below the legal limit for a time to be considered as official (+2.0m/s) – and under (not much, but some) rain. IAAF’s rules also state a maximum altitude of 1Km for times to be official.
Studies exist that show both the effect of wind (wind gauge or assistance) and altitude in sprint races.
So, what if the wind was +2.0 m/s yesterday? What time could he have made?
Based on this Bolt’s time would be around 9.65/9.66 and his World Record (+0.9 m/s then) would be around 9.63 without wind or 9.53 with +2 m/s. Different of course in the end, but consider that yesterday was raining and in Berlin 2009 was not…
We have calculated this time based on:
The tremendous effect of wind was shown in 1996 when Nigerian Obadele Thompson ran the 100 metres in 9.69 seconds in April 1996 in El Paso, Texas. The result would have been a new world record, but the wind gauge was +5.0 m/s.