In a new viral video from Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt’s website, the 100m and 200m world record holder has been filmed completing 40 metres in an impossibly fast time of 4.72 seconds. The speed of Bolt’s run is all the more impressive considering he weighs 85kg – some 14kg heavier than the average man of his height.
What would usain bolt’s 40 yard time be?
There are several factors that contribute to speed in a sprint race. One is the reaction time – how soon an athlete starts moving after the starting gun has fired. Reaction times vary wildly between individual athletes, but they’re typically measured in fractions of a second. Bolt’s reaction time for his world record 100m run was 0.155s (155 milliseconds), which is considered to be on the slow side. Faster reactions are beneficial because they give an athlete more time to accelerate before they reach their top speed.
How much force an athlete can apply when pushing off the ground, relative to their body weight – known as ‘force-velocity’ – also plays a part in sprinting success. The average force-velocity profile of elite 100m athletes tends to fall between 0.7-1.2 metres per second, which means they can apply less than one sixth (0.15) their body weight in horizontal ground reaction force during each step, relative to how fast their feet are moving.
Power is the last factor involved in sprinting times and, while it is an extremely important component, it’s also one of the hardest to measure.
The best player’s 40 yard time
Would be 4.72 seconds
The video cannot be considered conclusive proof of Bolt’s true speed because the time was not recorded using standard timing equipment. But assuming it was, Bolt would have run 40m in an average speed of 48.25km/h (30mph) – his 6.27 meter per second for 100m is just under this speed.
Since the sprint was filmed at 1/100 of a second per frame, an analysis of Bolt’s ‘real time’ speeds shows that he reached 19km/h (11mph) after just 2.5 metres and 31km/h (18mph) after 5m – significantly faster than world class sprinters such as Justin Gatlin and Yohan Blake.
How long is a 40 yard dash?
The average time for the NFL’s ‘top performers’ in the 40 yard dash is 4.47 seconds, with low times such as Bolt’s possible but rare. The fastest ever time was recorded by American athlete Bo Jackson at 4.12s – an incredible feat that has yet to be matched.
So, if Bolt were to run in an official 40 yard dash competition, he would likely complete it around half-a-second slower than his viral video suggests – making him the fastest man ever over that distance.
A comparison of the two
Usain Bolt’s 40 yard time would be about 4.72 seconds, much faster than any other player. This article also talks about how football players need a fast reaction time due to the quickness of their sport and how this article relates to that. A comparison of the two: Justin Gatlin and Yohan Blake are world class athletes who have recorded faster 100m times than Usain Bolt. Gatlin’s fastest time was 9.74 seconds while Bolt has the record at 9.58 seconds, so based on these numbers it would be safe to assume that Gatlin would beat Bolt in a 40 yard dash competition if he had the same reaction time as him and started from a running start.
Bo Jackson has the fastest 40 yard time of them all, at 4.12s so if Bolt had to race him it would be a really close race and based on these numbers we can assume that Bolt would probably win by a little bit due to his reaction time being better than Jackson’s and only slightly slower than Gatlin’s.
As summary, reaction times are typically measured in fractions of a second. Usain Bolt’s reaction time for his world record 100m was 0.155s (155 milliseconds), which is considered to be on the slow side.