Regarding Sarah's disability: LEXI shows the category she fits in:-|
The pertinent statement is "They all have a compromised start due to affected bike handling". So while she is like any Olympic cyclist on the move, setting off affects her time. There are a few Olympic cycling disciplines where the start isn't important. If she is able to compete with able-bodied who can start out quicker than her that makes her pretty damn good when 'at speed' - and let's face it this year the Team GB women set the bar pretty damn high. She could probably beat a fair few of the Olympic athletes, just not those in Team GB.
If this category exists specifically for those who have a disability which affects their start, why should she be criticised for making use of it? If there's still any criticism to be made, it's that this category exists. Given the other disabilities in it, such as a moderate impairment in one leg, it's hard to argue that.
Regarding blades vs legs: our legs have evolved over millions of years to function efficiently over a range of speeds, while blades, being a far less complex mechanism, represent a compromise. It looks to me that blades, with their lower acceleration but higher top speed, could edge out legs over a longer sprint distance - but perhaps the bend in the track compromises that.
Edited by FogHeart at 23:52:22 02-09-2012
Edited by FogHeart at 23:53:33 02-09-2012