Another 0.11 seconds would take the time below what Dr Denny, from Stanford University, reckons is the absolute limit of human athletic performance in the 100-metre dash.
"Anthropology Days," as the event was called, took place on Aug. 12 and 13, 1904. The first day featured European-style competitions: the shot put, the high jump, the long jump, the mile, and others. It went poorly—the events had been pulled together very quickly, and there was no time to teach the participants. One strength event—throwing a 56-pound weight—apparently enticed only three competitors, all three of whom refused to try a second round of throws. The high jump was confounding. Even the 100-yard dash was problematic. With so many languages spoken, the starting gun concept was understandably lost on many of the participants. So, too, was the idea of breaking through the finish line: Many would stop short or run below the tape.
The second day featured what the organizers saw as more "savage-friendly" exhibitions: a tree-climbing contest, archery, fighting demonstrations, a Mohawk vs. Seneca lacrosse match, and mud throwing. But even these supposedly more culturally appropriate games didn't work out the way they'd hoped. Thinking that spear-throwing peoples would fare well, Sullivan and McGee were shocked to see that most participants had trouble with the javelin.
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