Science Ticket. Why do athletes run counterclockwise?

Athletics track at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo (Japan). The arrival in the women’s 400 meters was won by ShaunĂ© Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas. illustrative photo. (Javier Soriano/AFP)

run counterclockwise, we also say run “counterclockwise”, it hasn’t always been the case. In the first Olympic Games, from 1896 to 1912, athletes ran in the opposite direction, clockwise. And he complained because he had bad feelings in the corners. As a result, the organizers have changed and this spirit of racing has since been incorporated into the rules of the International Athletics Federation.

In fact, for everyone, including professional athletes, if we were to do a loop, we would naturally run counterclockwise. In addition, the newspaper Progress Saw it in Lyon. In the Parc de la Tte d’Or, the daily says, “On this running highway of about 4 km, the alligator turns clockwise like a roundabout.“It was a matter of instinct, therefore, and the reporters even counted the runners. Only one in 30 runs in the other direction.

A Japanese scientist, Hideki Fukami, understood that athletes felt more comfortable with the rope on their left side because of the right hemisphere of the brain, which controls the perception of space as well as the opposite side, of our body. left half. Thus turning to the left will improve our body perception.

Furthermore, points out this researcher, 80% of criminals in the prefecture of Hyogo in Japan, when they run away, run to the left. It’s fair to the level of the game. Experimented with top athletes, they were asked to turn 400 meters to the left and turn 400 meters to the right. Counterclockwise, they run faster: two seconds less on average.

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