Watch a Man in a Jetsuit Beat Usain Bolt's 100-Meter Sprint Record
Clad in Iron Man-like flying gear, Richard Browning of Gravity Industries earned three Guinness World Record titles in one day as he smashed three athletic challenges.
The British inventor has been making headlines for a few years already thanks to his jetsuit, winning the record for setting the first world record for human flight, which he beat two years later in 2019 as he achieved the fastest recorded speed of a human flying in a jetsuit: 85.06 mph (136.891 km/h).
Browning is back at it, setting three new records on May 24 at the Southampton Athletics Centre in the U.K: The 100-meter sprint, 400-meter hurdles, and the pole vault. His focus was on speed.
As Browning himself said in a World Guinness Record YouTube video, he's looking to "Reset the boundaries of human and machine capabilities." And he managed to do just that.
The rules of the two second races, 400-meter hurdles, and the pole vault, were stricter than in regular athletics competitions, given running or jumping don't really stand a decent chance against flying.
But even during the 100-meter sprint, Browning flying above the track was a sight for sore eyes. Starting off with this challenge, the race was over practically before it even started, and Browning and his jetsuit managed to smash the current world record for the race, achieving 7.69 seconds, flying at 35 mph (56 km/h). Usain Bolt holds the running record of the sprint, at an impressive 9.58 seconds.
"In all respect to Usain Bolt, that felt pretty quick. I can only imagine running not that much slower is amazing," said Browning. No huffing or puffing for Browning at the end of the race.
Next up was the 400-meter hurdle race, which Browning undertook in direct competition with an athlete who ran alongside him. In order to be eligible for the record, Browning had to make sure he lowered and lifted in the air above the hurdles, getting as close to the ground as possible. This proved trickier for him, he said, but Browning still managed to win the race and break a world record. He achieved it in 42.06 seconds, beating the previous record-holder Kevin Young at 46.78 seconds.
Finally, the pole vault. Browning had to fly for 131 feet (40 meters) along the track, as any pole vaulter would have to do, before swooshing upwards along the poles for 19.6 feet (six meters) and touch down on the mat on the other side. To beat this one, Browning had to manage it all in under 15 seconds, which he did, earning him another record for his 13.09 seconds.
The entire project looked like fun, even though there's some skepticism in comparing human performance with that of a jetsuit. Regardless, these creations could prove extremely useful in many situations, from assisting Royal Marines to helping rescue paramedics in remote mountains, these jetsuits are easily deployable as they fit in just two suitcases, just like Browning's.
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