The following is from the Aug. 20, 2008, edition of The Times of India (TOI). Professor Peter Weyand of SMU's Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development provided expertise for this story.

Diet not a factor in sprinters' speed

NEW DELHI — How fast will man run? Will he ever dash through 100 metres in five seconds flat? Not impossible, says one of the world's best known authorities on physiology and biomechanics.

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Professor Peter Weyand, Southern Methodist University (Texas), known for his expertise in terrestrial locomotion and human and animal performance, told TOI that humans would soon have the "ability to modify and greatly enhance muscle fibre strength." This is crucial as it would actually reduce the difference between the muscle properties of humans and the world's fastest animal, the cheetah, to almost zero.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt, who won the Olympic 100m gold clocking a world record of 9.69 seconds, has now brought up the question ó will man get faster and faster? And going by what Weyand says, will he one day outrun the cheetah?

"Probably not," said Wayand. "The same laws of physics apply to all runners. However, biologically speaking, speed is conferred by an ability of the limbs to hit the ground forcefully in relation to the body's weight, an attribute conferred largely by the properties of the muscles of the runner."

Men can run as fast as some of the fastest animals, courtesy advances made by science, according to Professor Peter Weyand from Southern Methodist University (Texas), an expert in terrestrial locomotion and human and animal performance. He told TOI, "The fast four-legged runners or quadrupeds do seem to be advantaged versus bipeds in terms of the mechanics allowed by their anatomy. These mechanics help quadrupeds to get the most out of the muscles that they have in a way that bipedal runners probably cannot."

Scientists believe man canít run faster than 30 mph, with the best at about 27 mph. A cheetah, on the other hand, reaches speeds thrice that. Weyand said he expected speed to continue to improve and faster runners to emerge.

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