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World record holder – but for how long? Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

How low can marathon times go?

This fall Dennis Kimetto set a new world record in the marathon, clocking 2:02:57 at Berlin. He is the first man to run those 26.2 miles in under 2:03 and his time sparked speculation about when the two-hour…
Big Data also has an eye on the game. intelfreepress

Big data’s arrival in sport is changing the rules of the game

In sport we don’t just want to know who won. We now want to know how to replicate success and then improve on it. And to do this, we’re using data – and lots of it. The field of “big data” analytics has…
After a nine-match winning streak, Richmond lost to Port Adelaide by 57 points in last week’s elimination final. AAP/David Mariuz

How finals fever can make a footy player better – or worse

The AFL final series – with the semi-finals starting today – is one of the most ferocious and toughest contests we will see in Australian sport. Behind the scenes, there is no doubt a fair percentage of…
Hockeyroo Edwina Bone is tackled by Scotland’s Linda Clement on day four of the Glasgow Games. EMPICS Sport

Perfect pitch: how Australian hockey took the world by storm

With the Commonwealth Games underway, it’s time to take a look at a sport with a long and successful history in Australia – field hockey. Both the Australian men and women’s teams have gone to Glasgow…
Australia’s Cate Campbell transitioning from the on-block phase to the flight phase of a swimming start. EPA/Juanjo Martin

Take your marks … the science behind the perfect swimming dive

The swimming events of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games are among the first on the schedule. Australia and the UK tend to do quite well in the swimming events – as does Canada – so it’s an excellent opportunity…
Harder, faster, better, stronger. Jose Coelho/EPA

Do winning teams at the World Cup run further and faster?

Tracking technology using video or GPS chips have transformed the ability of coaches in elite team sports to monitor the physical contributions of players in games. This type of data is usually highly…
Running on their diets. Mike Egerton/PA

Chocolate milk, porridge and other World Cup diet secrets

You are what you eat. And in sports like football this is particularly true. Consuming the right or wrong foods and drinks can be the difference between winning and losing a match. It’s easy to think that…
Was McKinnon’s spinal injury a freak accident? AAP Image/Action Photographics, Brett Crockford

Is rugby league too dangerous?

After Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon’s neck was broken in a lifting tackle in March, some commentators and parents have questioned whether rugby is just too dangerous for children, amateurs – and even…
The science of spin bowling yields some interesting – and practical – results. Wallula Junction

Could the physics of spin bowling turn the Ashes around?

After the first day of the third Ashes test cricket match between England and Australia it may be a good time to consider how spin bowling might affect the outcome of the series - and how science can be…
There may be “health risks” associated with GW501516, but what are they? Hannibal/EPA

Anti-doping agency warns cheats on the health risks of Endurobol

This article was updated on April 12, 2013, and includes responses from WADA and GSK. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has taken the unusual step of warning athletes about the health risks of the banned…
Myths surround the use of polygraph machines. Lie detector photo from Shutterstock.

Lie detectors and anti-doping – who’s kidding who?

Please, sit down. Try not to sweat. Just relax. Now, answer honestly: could lie detectors succeed where current anti-doping measures in sport are failing? If you answered “yes” you are not alone. There…
Is our current form of hyper-competitive sport transgressive of fair play? Art-Of-2

We’re getting tougher on doping cheats – but why?

What’s the point of anti-doping? And what’s the point of sport in the early 21st century? Is the current system of anti-doping good for our kids, our athletes and is it good for sport? Is it even good…
Part of Team GB’s success at the 2012 Olympics can be attributed to rigorous sports science. Sum_of_Marc/Flickr

Sports science: time for proper accreditation

Stephen Dank, the man at the centre of Essendon drug scandal has been widely quoted in the media as a sport scientist or performance scientist. He has a PhD but is not accredited with Exercise Sport Science…
Since claims of systematic doping in Australian sport emerged last week, the role of sports scientists has been called into question. marc falardeau

Tarred with the same brush: what do sports scientists do?

Sports scientists have taken something of a media beating over the past week following revelations of alleged widespread illegal doping across Australian professional sporting codes. While this may be…

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