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RE: Merritt 12.80! The world record is gone!
I think that more don't "try", because it feels unnatural compared to other starts. Also, it leaves less time for you to apply force on your very first footplant, which means that you have to have monstrous power capability to deliver any useful force down the track on that footplant, vs just using that footplant to stabilize, keep the CoM up, and prepare for the second footplant.
Many believe that start to be very quick out of the blocks, but slower to any distance more than 15m than other starts, and all things being equal, they are correct with most athletes. Although PED's will obviously help, mercilessly practicing technique can also help to a certain extent, although the technique to do faster than other starts is really only enabled by the juice.
With the new juice that is around right now (legal or not), I expect somebody else to try it, looking for some sort of an edge. Ashmeade has tried it, as others might. The thing with juice is that it can make all different types of starts faster, reducing any advantage that the jump start might have.
And, nobody knows or teaches the start. I can still do a version of it, and did so for an Italian coach I met just before the Olympic 100m this year. He laughed in amazement, because he had never actually seen it done--and this was a guy who has been around for years.
And the real upshot is this: it is entirely possible that Ben would have gone even faster than he did, had he used a different start, and thereby enabled a better drive phase! We will never know.
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