Athletes and sports teams are always seeking ways to improve performance to ensure they stay ahead of the competition. Machine Vision has a crucial role to play in reaching new levels. The University of Lublijana used a Mikrotron high-speed camera to analyse elite high jumpers to identify the importance of technique in reaching new heights.
The sport of high jumping can be classified as the series of complex cyclic-acyclic movements where the main objective is to bring the jumper’s center of mass to a maximum height when crossing the bar.
In terms of biomechanical characteristics, the high jump technique is defined by the following three interrelated phases: run-up phase, take-off phase, and flight or bar clearance phase.
The Faculty of Sport at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, conducted a study aimed at establishing the optimal kinematic parameters of the take-off action. Biomechanical analysis was conducted using two synchronised cameras operating at a frequency of 50 Hz and one Mikrotron MotionBLITZ Cube high-speed camera with a 500 Hz frequency. Kinematic parameters were established using Ariel Performance Analysis System (APAS) 3-D software for video-based biomechanical analysis.
The study was carried out at the Športni athletic stadium at Kodeljevo in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Scientists video recorded an elite athlete executing 1- high jumps with the bar placed at a height ranging from 2.00m (6.56’) to 2.25m (7.4’). The maximum height at which the jumper cleared the bar that day was 2.18m (7.15’). At the Beijing Olympic Games, this same athlete placed 12th in the finals, with 2.25 m.
To many coaches and high jumpers, the take-off phase is the most important element of technique. In the take-off phase, the horizontal velocity of the jumper’s center of mass transforms into vertical velocity. Take-off begins at the instant the jumper places their take-off foot on the ground and concludes when it loses contact with the ground, an entire process that lasts approximately 0.14 to 0.18 of a second. Distance from the take-off point to the bar depends on the velocity of the jumper, the run-up technique, and the bar-crossing technique.
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