Many prehistoric Australian aboriginals could have outrun world 100 and 200 metres record holder Usain Bolt in modern conditions.
Some Tutsi men in Rwanda exceeded the current world high jump record of 2.45 metres during initiation ceremonies in which they had to jump at least their own height to progress to manhood.
Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle.
These and other eye-catching claims are detailed in a book by Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister entitled “Manthropology” and provocatively sub-titled “The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male.”
McAllister sets out his stall in the opening sentence of the prologue.
“If you’re reading this then you — or the male you have bought it for — are the worst man in history.
“No ifs, no buts — the worst man, period. As a class we are in fact the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet.”
Delving into a wide range of source material McAllister finds evidence he believes proves that modern man is inferior to his predecessors in, among other fields, the basic Olympic athletics disciplines of running and jumping.
His conclusions about the speed of Australian aboriginals 20,000 years ago are based on a set of footprints, preserved in a fossilised claypan lake bed, of six men chasing prey.
An analysis of the footsteps of one of the men, dubbed T8, shows he reached speeds of 37 kph on a soft, muddy lake edge. Bolt, by comparison, reached a top speed of 42 kph during his then world 100 metres record of 9.69 seconds at last year’s Beijing Olympics.
In an interview in the English university town of Cambridge where he was temporarily resident, McAllister said that, with modern training, spiked shoes and rubberised tracks, aboriginal hunters might have reached speeds of 45 kph.
“We can assume they are running close to their maximum if they are chasing an animal,” he said.
“But if they can do that speed of 37 kph on very soft ground I suspect there is a strong chance they would have outdone Usain Bolt if they had all the advantages that he does.
“We can tell that T8 is accelerating towards the end of his tracks.”
McAllister said it was probable that any number of T8’s contemporaries could have run as fast.
“We have to remember too how incredibly rare these fossilisations are,” he said. “What are the odds that you would get the fastest runner in Australia at that particular time in that particular place in such a way that was going to be preserved?”
Turning to the high jump, McAllister said photographs taken by a German anthropologist showed young men jumping heights of up to 2.52 metres in the early years of last century.
“It was an initiation ritual, everybody had to do it. They had to be able to jump their own height to progress to manhood,” he said.
“It was something they did all the time and they lived very active lives from a very early age. They developed very phenomenal abilities in jumping. They were jumping from boyhood onwards to prove themselves.”
McAllister said a Neanderthal woman had 10 percent more muscle bulk than modern European man. Trained to capacity she would have reached 90 percent of Schwarzenegger’s bulk at his peak in the 1970s.
“But because of the quirk of her physiology, with a much shorter lower arm, she would slam him to the table without a problem,” he said.
Manthropology abounds with other examples:
* Roman legions completed more than one-and-a-half marathons a day (more than 60 kms) carrying more than half their body weight in equipment.
* Athens employed 30,000 rowers who could all exceed the achievements of modern oarsmen.
*Australian aboriginals threw a hardwood spear 110 metres or more (the current world javelin record is 98.48).
McAllister said it was difficult to equate the ancient spear with the modern javelin but added: “Given other evidence of Aboriginal man’s superb athleticism you’d have to wonder whether they couldn’t have taken out every modern javelin event they entered.”
Why the decline?
“We are so inactive these days and have been since the industrial revolution really kicked into gear,” McAllister replied. “These people were much more robust than we were.
“We don’t see that because we convert to what things were like about 30 years ago. There’s been such a stark improvement in times, technique has improved out of sight, times and heights have all improved vastly since then but if you go back further it’s a different story.
“At the start of the industrial revolution there are statistics about how much harder people worked then.
“The human body is very plastic and it responds to stress. We have lost 40 percent of the shafts of our long bones because we have much less of a muscular load placed upon them these days.
“We are simply not exposed to the same loads or challenges that people were in the ancient past and even in the recent past so our bodies haven’t developed. Even the level of training that we do, our elite athletes, doesn’t come close to replicating that.
“We wouldn’t want to go back to the brutality of those days but there are some things we would do well to profit from.”
Go Round FC Searches For Big Stars
Go Round FC’s coach, Ngozi Elechi has revealed that the club is in search of its next big star in the mould of Daniel Gotom and James Eronje.
Both players were top performers for the club in the first round of the just concluded Nigeria National League season before they travelled to Europe.
Elechi said while in training with the team that the coaches are on the lookout for players in their mould that will take the league by storm, though previously inexperienced in league football.
“James and Gotom had not played in the league before they joined Go Round FC last season. They came from academies and did so well for us.
“Those are the kinds of players we hope to discover in our open screening and that is why we decided to embark on this and leave the more experienced players out of the equation for now,” Elechi said.
Tens of players have been camped at the Krisdera Hotel Stadium for over a week, sweating it out and trying to impress the coaches.
“We are still training. We have our eyes on them and expect a lot more to join up within the coming days,” Elechi added.
“When we are done with this, we will now ask the old players of the team to return ahead of the start of the season, as well as those we scouted in the course of the last football season.”
Gure Community Youths Advice On Sporting Activities
The youths of Gure Community in Khana Local Government Area, in Rivers State has been advised to take the game of football as a career because it is now a lucrative business that has the capacity to turn around their fortunes.
Deputy Rector, Academics of Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Rumuola Port Harcourt Dr Moses Neebee, gave the advice during a novelty football match in honour of Late Chief Benson Deezua, at the weekend at the Community School field, Gure.
He further expressed joy that youths in the community have taken the right part by involving themselves in sporting activities.
“ Well, our youth are on the right part because today sports is a lucrative business mostly football. I am also happy the honour given to late Chief Deezua by the community youth” Dr. Neebee said.
According to him, the community would hardly forget the late Chief following his contributions in bringing peace and unity.
“Late Chief played major role during the cult crises and stood by the community.
“ First I want to thank God because late chief Benson Deezua was a man we all should looked upon not only because I am his nephew but the role he play in the Community.
“ Infact, his life and time will hardly be forgotten by Gure Community because during crises in the community he stood by the community.
“ He lived a life worthy of emulation.
“ I pray to God to give us the strength that we need to start from where he stopped” he stated. .
By: Kiadum Edookor
Why We Dominate Sports In Nigeria – Delta Commissioner
The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Hon. Charles Aniagwu, has said that the State Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa places priority on Sports development and formulates policies that will develop sports in the State.
He stated that the Government closed all schools in the State to discover talents and give equal academic opportunity to those who are participating at the ongoing National Sports Festival (NSF) and those that are not doing sports.
Hon. Aniagwu, made the assertion in a press briefing at the NSF holding in Asaba, on Monday, saying that Sports is an indigene of Delta State.
According to him, the reason why Delta State is dominating sports in Nigeria was because the government does not give any private school license to operate if the school does not have field for sporting activities.
“First when we came in, the governor made it clear that no license should be issued to private school that do not have field where students can do sporting activities.
“As I speak to you, all the secondary schools in Delta State have been closed to accommodate activities for this event because we have a good number of secondary students that are participating
After the Sports Festival, they will continue academic activities and we do not want a situation where some will be learning and some are doing sports, we want to give every student equal opportunity of academic activities, but I know they will to do their exams before Christmas” Hon. Aniagwu said.
By: Tonye Orabere In Asaba
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