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tandresen
05-18-2007, 09:17 AM
This is a very interesting issue.

Together the foot and shank represents about 6% of the body mass. If Mr.
Pistorius weighs about 200 lbs. or 90 kg, his foot and shank would weight about
12 lbs. or 5.5 kg. I assume that the prosthesis weighs about 3.5 lbs or 1.6
kg. Roughly, that would imply that he is competing with about 9 lbs. or 4
kg. of less weight or mass on each leg. That would certainly be advantageous.

The recovery of the compressive energy from the prostheses as opposed to the
normal leg would be important. I would assume that the elastic energy
recovery from the carbon fiber prostheses would be greater than the energy
recovery from normal foot and shank. That is why the IAAF does not allow springs in
competition.

Based on the physics of the two systems, I do not think that it would be
equitable for Mr. Pistorius to compete against the able-bodied sprinters.

Ted Andresen
St. Petersburg, Florida





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