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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE
A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2013 December;172(12):941-51
How can somatotype become a tool to predict an anthropometric profile for high performance 100- and 400-meter runners?
Figueirêdo J. S. 1, Dantas P. M. S. 1, Knackfuss M. I. 1, Egito E. S. T. 2
1 Health Science Graduate Program, Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, Brazil;
2 Health Science Graduate Program, Department of Pharmacy, Laboratory of Dispersed Systems (LaSiD), Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, Brazil
Aim: The anthropometric characteristics and performance of 100m and 400m runners were examined and compared.
Methods: The sample, male runners (N.=39) competing at the regional level, had their anthropometric characteristics and performance examined and compared. Then, the Health-Carter somatotype was calculated. Races (100m and 400m) were held to assess athletic performance and establish subgroups. Descriptive statistics were calculated for the total sample, as well as for both groups.
Results: A somatotype with mesomorphy and ectomorphy dominance was exhibited by 100m and 400m athletes, respectively. Endomorphy was low in both groups, especially in 400m runners, who had more elongated body types than 100m runners. When separately compared by athletic performance quartile, 100m sprinters of better qualifications had a somatotype with dominant mesomorphy, whereas 400m runners had a somatotype with dominant ectomorphy.
Conclusion: The 100m and 400m athletes differ to some extent in anthropometric characteristics and somatotype depending on the athletic performance level. The establishment of subgroups among the 100 m and 400 m athletes reveal that predominance of mesomorphy is a crucial anthropometric characteristic for 100 m athletes, while the prevalence of ectomorphy predicts a profile for 400 m athletes. Periodic evaluations of these parameters may help coaches in the process of selection and orientation of the training of athletes for these two events. Moreover, the final conclusion of this work is that with comprehensive use the somatotype can become a tool for evaluating the crucial anthropometric variables for 100 m and 400 m runners to produce the best results during their runs.