Cheput Gai, a three-time World Cup 10,000m gold medalist, “runs with rubber ankles stretched to the limit never before seen in elite athletics”

Joshua Cheptegei, 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder, was one of the great protagonists of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. The Ugandan athlete won his third World Cup gold medal at the young age of 26, matching the milestone achieved by Mo Farah.

However, this extraordinary African athlete was not exactly a paragon of skill. In fact, the way he walks would hurt the eyes of any running enthusiast. As Biomechanics points out, Cheput Gay’s “gum ankle stretches to limits never before seen in elite athletics.” Could his overpronated left foot be a major hindrance that would limit his running?

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Although the athlete over-pronates, which can be seen by the way the outside of the foot almost grazes the ground, it’s not a problem, as track coach Gareth Cole admitted to Runner’s World. The expert dissected his running technique and addressed any doubts people had about the ugly footwork.

“Excessive pronation doesn’t cause more damage”

“Pronation is the movement of the foot and ankle in all planes during the strike phase of the step. Anatomically, it is described as subtalar valgus (heel tilt), ankle dorsiflexion (knee over toes) and forefoot abduction (toes pointing)”. He goes on to explain, “For simplicity, the pronation phase of running is when the foot touches the ground and the runner absorbs all of their body weight plus gravity in preparation for the ‘supination phase’ of takeoff,” Cole explains.

For the running technologist, pronation doesn’t guarantee more injuries: “Pronation and excessive pronation have historically been blamed for a large number of running injuries. Higher light pronators have the opposite injury. He further explains, “The reason for this is that the foot is too stiff and does not allow ground reaction forces to dissipate through the many small joints in the foot. ”

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I wouldn’t change his technique. Despite the exaggerated overspin, Cheput Guy, according to Gareth Cole, ran technically well: “If you look closely at Cheput Guy, he hits the ground from the middle to the forefoot, That defines him as a midfoot internal rotator rather than a pure internal rotator, which is very different.”

“A final point to note is that Cheput Gay has put in countless hours of racing during training and has adapted to his unique running style, and changing his stride now could greatly increase his risk of injury, thus reducing the time between games and training. So, personally, I think if it’s not a real problem, it’s better to leave it as it is,” the coach said.

Source: Runner’s World UK

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