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Sporting Achievement and Ethnic Background
Sporting Achievement and Ethnic Background

The top 200 times recorded in the 100m sprint are all held by athletes of West African Origin. Does your genetic background make you more or less likely to be good Olympic events?

One of the most controversial areas in sport is the extent to which ethnic origin makes some people better at some events. In sprint racing, for instance, runners of West African origin dominate. In distance running East and North Africans are ahead of the pack. In field events relying on upper body strength, Northern Europeans appear strongest. With advances in the human genome project more light may be shed on these trends. Anyone who thinks that we will find a gene for sprinting or a gene for throwing, however, is probably barking up the wrong tree. Biology is never that simple and it takes a whole complex of characters to make a champion. Author Jon Entine has published a book on the subject, "Taboo" www.jonentine.com
 

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