|Shaunae Miller of Bahamas won the 400 meter gold medal|
Monday by diving across the finish line.
This sparked a series of tweets (from Minnesota-based reporters and others) about Nick Punto and his notorious insistence that his dives into first base got him there faster than running through the base. Including from the former Twins infielder himself:
Take that sports science! Jk John. Kinda. https://t.co/s0DDWzQvj9— Nick Punto (@Shredderpunto) August 16, 2016
I've referred here to "Nick Punto's fantasies of physics," and of course the cliche argument against diving into first that "you don't see Olympic sprinters diving across the finish line." Well, now we have. And it worked.
One big difference: Miller's goal was a vertical plane; Punto's was an object on the ground. Miller didn't hit the ground with her knee, chest or hands until after she crossed the finish line; Punto almost always did, and that creates friction, and that slowed him down.
It's still not a good idea, even if a sprinter did it on the biggest stage.