Sprint analysis of athletes with intellectual impairments
Thesis (M Sport Sc (Sport Science))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.
Intellectually impaired (II) athletes are not allowed to participate at the Paralympic Games because there is no accepted classification system for these athletes. The rationale for this study was to see if there are any physical differences existing in the sprint performance of II and non-II athletes and to see if there is a way to incorporate these differences into a new (accepted) classification system. The objective of this study was to identify any physical sources for the differences between II and non-II, with regard to the acceleration phase, the first 30m of the 60m sprint race, which could then be used in conjunction with other tests in the classification of II athletes. This new classification system might then allow II athletes to participate in the Paralympic Games again. 32 II athletes (22 male and 10 females) and 14 non-II athletes (10 males and 4 females) were used in this study. The sprint performance was analysed and compared of each athlete using the DartFish ProSuite software programme. The data collected from these analysis was then compared using the unpaired t-test, looking for any significant differences between the groups (p<0.05). From this analysis, it was concluded that stride length was the reason for the poorer performance of the II group when compared to the non-II group. Further research is required before definite conclusions can be made on the possible reasons for this difference.