A Three-Dimensional Analysis of the Men’s Compulsory Vault Performed at the 1992 Olympic Games

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The 20 highest scored handspring with full-turn vaults performed during the 1992 Olympic Games were compared with those receiving the 20 lowest scores. Hypotheses were that the vaults receiving high scores would (a) demonstrate larger horizontal velocity at takeoff from the board and larger vertical velocity at takeoff from the horse and (b) demonstrate greater amplitude of postflight, higher center of gravity (CG) at the completion of the full twist, and superior landing performance than those receiving low scores. Two 16-mm Locam II DC cameras, each operating at a nominal frame rate of 100 Hz, recorded the vaults. It was concluded that the vaults receiving high scores demonstrated (a) larger horizontal velocity and translational kinetic energy at takeoff from the board, larger vertical velocity and translational kinetic energy at takeoff from the horse, and greater amplitude of postflight; (b) greater heights of CG from the beginning of the second-quarter twist to halfway through the third-quarter twist; and (c) superior landing performance than those receiving low scores.

Y. Takei, E.P. Blucker, J.H. Dunn, and S. A. Myers are with the Department of Physical Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115-2854. V.L. Fortney is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, The Pennsylvania State University, 200 Biomechanics Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802-3408.