Bolt vs Blake in numbers

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I spotted the infographic below on the Telegraph website at the end of the 2012 Games and I thought it was a terrific resource to explore a develop of numeracy skills in an engaging way. You can infer information and trends from the graph, convert units from Imperial to S.I. and a lot more.

Some questions for your learners

1) Why does it only take 41 strides for Bolt to finish the race and 47 strides for Blake?

2) Which athlete will have to sustain their top speed for longer and why?

3) What are the top speeds of both athletes in m/s?

4) Blake’s top speed is around 11.9 m/s and Bolt’s 12.4 m/s. What would be the difference in time between them, if they both run for the whole 100 m at their respective top speeds?

5) Bolt peaks at 28mph at around 50 m from the finish line. At what distance from the finish line would Blake need to be when Bolt has just reached his top speed, if he wants to win the race?

6) If you just followed the trend of the graph above, what time would you expect Blake and Bolt to achieve at the 2016 competition? Explain your reasoning.

There are many other questions that could be explored from this infographic, so please add your own in the comments. If you would like to have the answer sheet for this activity, please send us an email at

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