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Accurate speed and split-time information on sprinters is crucial in coaching support. Furthermore, speed and stride parameters (i.e. contact time, stride frequency, and stride length) are important in research on the biomechanics of running. Existing speed-tracking systems for sprinting are expensive, unable to support multiple competing athletes, involve a complicated set-up procedure, or are not sufficiently accurate. This paper describes the design, evaluation results, and application scenarios of a novel, practical, and cost-effective light-sensor network system (commissioned at the National Indoor Athletics Centre, Cardiff, UK) that is capable of capturing criterion-comparable split-time information on simultaneously competing sprinters for long- and short-term coaching support and for biomechanics and sports science research purposes. This unique system is specifically designed to support coaching activities on a daily basis. It was also shown that the light-sensor network system can be integrated with other body-attached measurement systems to achieve continuous tracking of position, speed, and stride parameters of a race. © Authors 2010.

Original publication




Journal article


Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology

Publication Date





167 - 179