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Current Affairs

Super shoes in Olympics

Date: 10 August 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The use of ‘super shoes’ have resulted in the breaking of large number of athletic records since the Rio Olympics in 2016.

 

Background

The beneficiaries of such shoes have been athletes participating in track and field events. These shoes have been praised as well as criticized equally.

 

Details

  • The Tokyo Olympics saw athletes performing exceedingly well in several disciplines. This has been due to the high-tech tracks as well as super shoes.

  • Critics say that the shoes have ruined the natural form of athletics. They have gone ahead and called the use of these shoes as ‘technological doping’.

  • The shoes were first developed by Nike, a multinational sports company based in USA. The same design has now been used by all competitor companies.

 

Records broken using new shoes

  • The World record in 400m hurdles in both men and women stream have been broken during the ongoing Olympics.

  • The 33-year old record for 100m was broken by Jamaican athlete Elaine Thompson-Herah. A record was also set in the triple-jump event.

 

What are ‘super shoes’?

  • The ‘super shoes’ first arrived on the scene in form of Vaporfly Elite, which was developed by Nike. The athlete wearing these shoes saves about 4 percent more energy than the rest.

  • The shoes are made up of a rigid carbon-fibre plate and unique foam to give the runner an added comfort and speed.

  • The super foam in spikes has better ability to return energy back to the athlete and acts like a spring with effective push-off for every stride taken by them.

  • The track used for track and field events has been modified to help athletes. The track material allows shock absorption and energy return.

 

Concerns

  • Critics argue that sports should be awarded based on individual efforts of the athletes and not combination with technology.

  • A small technological difference can change the outcome of tight races. The poor athletes will stand no chance in buying them and will lose out on advantage.