In one of the most competitive events at the Olympic Trials, LoLo Jones will need her A game, as all the top athletes do, to make the Olympic team at the 100 meter hurdles. Jones, the World Champion indoors in 2008 and 2010, will be seeking her second Olympic team. With sponsors ASICS and Red Bull, LoLo Jones was able to get some technical support that she sees as key to her future success. You can read more about the Red Bull Project X below:
ASICS elite athlete and USA Track and Field star Lolo Jones has been
training smarter lately due to Red Bull Project X. For four months, Red Bull
Project X has utilized 3D motion capture technology to help pinpoint and
perfect Jones' training on the track.
A customized course was created at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana comprised of up to 50 ViconMocap cameras to capture Jones
and relay real time data to a team of on-site technologists and sports
scientists. This team, including chief scientist Richard Kirby and
functional sport expert Vern Gambetta, then worked closely with Jones'
longtime coach Dennis Shaver to interpret the data and devise ways to shave
In addition to motion capture, Red Bull Project X utilized an Optojump, an
optical LED-based system set on the ground to capture contact times, and a
Phantom camera, which took imagery at up to 1,250 frames per second and
provided visual interpretation to minuscule detail. With up to 50 cameras,
39 body markers and cameras capturing a frame rate of 250 frames per second
it resulted in over 30,000 points of 2D and 3D data per second of her run.
This level of data provided the team a rich set of information to tweak
Lolo's training and find ways to perfect and enhance her times. Some of the
key findings include identifying center of mass position versus toe
touchdown point, which determines sprint mechanics efficiency, a piece of
information which was impossible to detect from previous technology. The
quick rendering of data and relay to on-track computers allowed for
in-session feedback, speeding up what would have been weeks of analysis into
under an hour.
"The Project X footage allows us to focus in on how Lolo's foot is pushing
through the plate to leverage power over each hurdle while ensuring the
ideal spike positioning so she gets the best traction on a variety of track
surfaces," says Matt Donnelly, ASICS Product Marketing Manager, Track and
Field. "The time lapsed video aspect allows us to see that Lolo's foot is
secure and working as one with her shoe for efficiency and power. In
addition, the footage will be analyzed by the ASICS' Institute of Sports
Science in Japan to make future modifications and improvements to the shoe
for the consumer market."
"Previously you were going on coach's intuition, fairly inaccurate video
analysis," says Coach Dennis Shaver. "Red Bull Project X has allowed us to
eliminate all guess work and get right down to the finite, exact thousandth
of a second of what all is going on and try to make changes that will
In a sport where the difference between first and fifth can be mere
hundredths of a second, each minor improvement can have a hefty impact. As
Coach Shaver elaborates, "Ultimately the whole project is about, and what an
elite athlete is trying to do, is shave milliseconds off ground contact
times, milliseconds off each one of those hurdle clearances. If you can do
that you are probably going to be on the podium at the end of the day."
For Lolo, the training regimen has helped give her a boost of confidence
that is crucial leading into major races, "You have just 12 seconds to do
all of this. Having this technology and just making sure every little thing
is clear and precise and we can find the mistakes before we go to a big
competition, it's vital. It's not something that Coach Shaver or I could
have done on our own. It takes a team," says Jones.
This technology will be put to the test when Jones competes at the United
States Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene Oregon in an attempt to make
her second appearance at the Games. Jones currently trains and competes in
the ASICS Cyberaura-Japanese, a lightweight track spike built for speed and
supporting center of gravity movement smoothly.
For more information and to view the video on the project, visit