Carmelita Jeter was a naturally born athlete, but to become world class, she had to learn to run. That’s right: Even when Jeter won the bronze medal in the 100 meters at the 2007 world championships, sprint guru John Smith, who would later become her coach, said “She was just raw. No technique at all.”
Under Smith’s disciplined tutelage and with the aid of biomechanist Ralph Mann, Jeter began to take a more serious approach to sprinting. Mann’s computer simulations drove home the techniques Smith had been preaching.
“I was always teaching it,” Smith said. “But now I have data to sweeten up my information, and she’s the beneficiary of it.”
Jeter’s use of technology to get faster is the first chapter in Amy Shipley’s Profiles in Speed series, which will examine everything athletes are doing to get faster as the London Olympics approach.
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