In 2156, the fastest time in the Olympic 100-metre final will be run by a woman, according to a new analysis of changes in sprint times.

The winning times of both sexes have been improving steadily over the last century, but women have been eating into their times at a faster rate. If the trend continues, the women’s 100-metre sprint in 2156 will be won in 8.079 seconds, compared to 8.098 seconds for the men’s race.



The precise result comes from extrapolating the times of male and female Olympic gold winners from 1900 for men, and from 1928 for women – the first year females were allowed to run in the event.



Andrew Tatem, lead author of the paper from the University of Oxford, UK, makes no claim as to the physiological reality of this outcome. “It was just a quick analysis because the 100-metre was coming up in the next week,” he admits.



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