Numerous biomechanical studies have been conducted to determine optimal performance techniques that long jump athletes without physical limitations use to produce maximal horizontal jumps. However,
the biomechanical research available for athletes with physical limitations, regarding optimal long jump performance techniques and the underlying biomechanics is limited (Nolan and Lees 2007;
Theodorou et al., 2011). The purpose of this study was to analyze the mechanical characteristics of the approach run and duration of the take-off phase in the men’s long jump final of the London 2012
The study investigated 77 males participating at the long jump finals at the categories of visual impairment (VI F11-13, n=26), intellectual impairment (I F20, n=10), athletes with athetosis, ataxia
and/or hypertonia (CP F36-37/38, n=19) and athletes with limb deficiencies (PD F42-44-46, n=22). White markers were placed at 1m intervals parallel to the runway’s lines. The approach phase of each
jump was recorded using 4 Casio EX-F1 cameras, operating at 300Hz. The velocity was measured with Stalker ATS II radar (Applied Concepts Inc., USA) at 30Hz frequency. The best jump was analysed and
processed with kinovea v.0.8.
Official distance (m): VIF11 5.80±0.45; VIF13 6.09±0.49; IF20 6.10±1.06; CPF36 4.94±0.25; CPF37/38 5.92±0.47; FDF42 5.28±1.03; FDF44 6.30±0.58; FDF46 6.16±0.86
Step length (m) for 3rd, 2nd and last: VIF11 2.11±0.24, 2.28±0.28, 2.12±0.14; VIF13 2.13±0.18, 2.22±0.17, 2.09±0.17; IF20 2.18±0.26, 2.34±0.25, 2.14±0.20; CPF36 1.99±0.23, 2.10±0.26, 1.95±0.24;
CPF37/38 1.98±0.16, 2.06±0.14, 2.00±0.24; PDF42 1.74±0.16, 2.07±0.36, 1.78±0.22; PDF44 1.86±0.13, 2.10±0.12, 1.88±0.04; PDF46 2.13±0.22, 2.28±0.34, 1.96±0.19.
Step 1 frequency (Hz) 3rd, 2nd and last: VIF11 3.93±0.37, 4.00±0.32, 4.53±0.34; VIF13 4.24±0.36, 4.14±0.34, 4.40±0.64; IF20 4.18±0.43, 4.00±0.38, 4.75±0.58; CPF36 3.96±0.34, 3.66±0.47, 4.43±0.38;
CP37/38 4.37±0.47, 4.30±0.33, 5.23±0.83; PDF42 4.51±0.96, 3.69±0.82, 5.04±0.76; PDF44 4.54±0.53, 4.07±0.45, 5.40±0.23; PD46 4.45±0.50, 4.04±0.50, 5.34±0.56.
Horizontal velocity (m/s). VIF11 8.44±0.33; VIF13 9.01±0.49; IF20 8.96±0.68; CPF36 7.74±0.33; CPF37 9.04±0.28; PDF42 7.81±0.81; PDF44 8.83±0.53; PDF46 9.00±0.41.
Take-off contact time (s). VIF11 0.134±0.01; VIF13 0.140±0.01; IF20 0.125±0.014; CPF36 0.147±0.016; CPF37 0.139±0.014; PDF42 0.133±0.018; PDF44 0.123±0.013; PDF46 0.130±0.016.
The jump distances achieved by amputee athletes F44-46 were longer than those achieved by the others athletes. The length pattern (medium-long-short) of the last steps is in accordance with elite
athletes without disabilities. Horizontal velocity during the last three steps before take-off had a high correlation with the official jump distance. Take off Time at the long jump of F44-20-46
correlated with the best performances. When measuring Paralympic athletes, using the same biomechanical parameters as in non-impaired high-level athletes, a wide range of similarities can be found in
the patterns used and correlations with jumping distances.