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The inside lane advantage

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 25, 2008

The Olympic starting gun gives the runners on the inside of the track (near the gun) an unfair advantage because the sound reaches the outer lanes later and the loud bang scares inside-lane runners out of the blocks earlier.

Runners in lane eight got off the mark on average about 150 milliseconds after runners in lane one, Dapena found. A time delay of that magnitude translates to about a metre’s difference at the finish line.

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