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Health Check - The Human Race: Lifecycle Of An Athlete

How can the latest scientific research give elite athletes that extra edge over their competition? Claudia visits the world's largest hub of technical innovation in high performance sport, in Germany.

When athletes have reached their peak, how can the latest scientific research give them that extra edge over their competition?

In this week’s programme, Health Check looks at how athletes and engineers are working together in the quest for gold, by monitoring every movement of the human body.

Some of the most cutting edge research is done behind the walls of the Institute for Research and Development for Sports Equipment, known as the FES.

Funded by the government, it opened 50 years ago, and is now probably the world's largest hub of technical innovation in high performance sport, housing a unique range of sports engineering projects.

As well as developing and constructing sports equipment in consultation with coaches and athletes, they also design and develop measurement tools to monitor an athlete's performance.

Claudia Hammond also visits the British city of Sheffield to see a video system which GB boxers believe is giving them a 25% advantage, and the $100 dollar computer game that sports scientists hope could lead to Olympic gold.

(Image: James DeGale with his Gold medal for the Mens Middleweight Final at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Credit: ALLSPORT/Getty Images)

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