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Leeds academics collect data at biggest indoor athletics event in the world


A team of academics, technical staff, and students from Leeds Beckett have been collecting data at the recent IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Indoor Championships – the biggest indoor athletics event in the world.

The Leeds Beckett University project team

Held in Birmingham at the beginning of the month, this is the first time that a nation has staged both the outdoor and indoor world championships back to back across two seasons.

The aim of the project is to support athletes and coaches in optimisation and improvement of their training and competition performance in the future.

At the outdoor championships in London last year, Leeds Beckett, in co-operation with the IAAF, carried out the biggest ever biomechanics research project. During the event, the project team gained extensive experience and expertise in data capture and interpretation of world leading performance. This led to the invitation to extend the data capture to the World Indoor Championships – the biggest athletics event in the world.

Dr Athanassios Bissas, who led the project, said: “Our involvement in the Birmingham World Indoors project presents the opportunity to build on the research undertaken in London and will provide the world athletics community with high quality data derived from the performances of the world’s top athletes. Such data capture and interpretation has not previously occurred in an indoor athletics arena.”

The team captured data from the 60m sprint, 60m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault and shot put events, using a large number of high-speed cameras. They will be conducting their analysis in a three-dimensional fashion.

Student Jessica Thomas was one of the team involved in the capture. She said: “It’s a great environment to collect data in and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to be part of the project team.”

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