Danimal, I'm trying to explain why he was able to maintain that.
Cockysprinter- This is the generally accepted wisdom, however, I've yet to see anyone explain the physics as to wy this is so. If nobody can explain the physics as to why this is so, then perhaps we're operating off an incorrect model.
Also, Johnson, Greene, Ato, Crawford and Collins are all at around average height (at least for an American Male) within two inches. They are not "tall" in any sense of the word, as none of them touches six foot. only 60% of the olympic golds you put forth can really be considered "tall" and 60% isn't really a statistically significant amount.
A couple things here… Mike, please correct me if anything sounds funny to you
First ,your comment to Cockysprinter can be explained by understanding that there is always a balance in sprint technique. When at max velocity, a runner's ground contact time should be as short as possible. but this cannot be obtained by sacrificing optimal force production. A sprinter who concentrates only on short ground contact will ultimately be "tip-toeing" down the track, taking a lot of strides during the race and not really going anywhere. And while we do not want our sprinter bounding down the track either, like i said, there needs to be a balance.
Also, you have to look at the entire race. During the drive phase, ground contact times are longer due to the need to accelerate. Since the runner's body is at an angle to help with this acceleration, it shortens the length of the lever available to produce force against the track. Once the runner reaches max V, he/she is running upright and contact times shorten because of the use of a longer lever with which to produce the force needed to propel the runner down the track. Essentially, the same amount of for used during the drive phase(short lever) is used during max V ( longer lever). Thus a longer lever will create more torque, making the runner faster.
Second, and just a side note…
be careful how you use the term "statistically significant." You're talking about a subject that, as far as i know, hasn't really been studied too much. I haven't seen any research stating that shorter people are have a significant advantage in sprinting over taller people. If you do have anything on this, please let us know, it'd would be interesting to take a look at.