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Two Stunning Track Records With Evolving Technological Progress To The Fore

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The unwavering advance of technology continues unabated in athletics as two long-standing world records were obliterated within an hour at the same meeting by runners wearing Nike’s controversial track spikes and guided by pacemaking lights.

At a stadium in Valencia that was almost empty because of coronavirus restrictions, Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei smashed the men’s 10,000m world record on Wednesday, clocking 26min 11.00 sec to slice an astonishing six seconds off the mark set in 2005 by Kenenisa Bekele.

Cheptegei’s performance came after Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey chalked off an equally remarkable four seconds from the previous record for the women’s 5,000m set by Tirunesh Dibaba in 2008. Gidey was timed in 14:06.62.

Two world records in highly competitive events set in one heady hour did not just come about by accident.

They were premeditated and both performances factored in the latest technological advances, something that threatens to produce a rash of new marks, just as swimming had its record book rewritten with the introduction of the full-body suits that were later banned.

Both Cheptegei and Gidey were wearing Nike ZoomX Dragonfly spikes, a super-light shoe with a rigid plate and a unique foam that lends a propulsive sensation to every stride.

Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei beat the men's 10,000m world record previously set in 2005 by Kenenisa Bekele by an astonishing six seconds Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei beat the men’s 10,000m world record previously set in 2005 by Kenenisa Bekele by an astonishing six seconds Photo: AFP / JOSE JORDAN

Critics claim the shoes are the equivalent of mechanical doping, while supporters hail them as a revolutionary technical advance.

The spikes, nevertheless, are approved by track and field’s governing body.

Not only were the two athletes wearing the controversial Nike spikes, but they had a team of metronomic pacemakers around them who utilised Wavelight technology — a trackside visual time guidance system which lights up to indicate the world record pace.

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The Quantum Prisoner, a free scientific and technological video game is now available online

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The Quantum Prisoner, a free scientific and technological video game is now available online
Credit: CEA

Science, logic, and technology are your best allies in The Quantum Prisoner, a completely free browser-based point-and-click adventure that is today playable in English on PC, Mac and mobile devices and tablets. Featuring 10-12 hours of gameplay, The Quantum Prisoner takes you on a journey around the globe to find out what happened to the physician Artus Cropp, who mysteriously disappeared back in the 1960s. Playing as Zoe, curious and resourceful young woman, you must solve more than 30 technology, science and engineering-based puzzles from operating particle accelerators and fuel cells to robots and more. You will escape perilous situations, progress through your investigation and make a discovery that will change the world!


“As a public science research organization, the CEA aims to open up the exciting world of science to the next generation of budding young brilliant minds and so made The Quantum Prisoner into a completely free game to lower the entry barrier for a fun learning experience,” said Roland Lehoucq, astrophysicist at the CEA and scientific advisor of The Quantum Prisoner. “We’ve designed the game to be accessible even if you don’t know anything about science—you learn as you play along, in line with the scientific approach. Informative videos, facts and assistance from the CEA researchers are all at your disposal as you play through increasingly challenging puzzles and learn about environmental and life sciences, physics, chemistry and maybe even a bit of quantum physics along the way!”

The Quantum Prisoner is a browser-based game created by the CEA with the sole purpose of making science fun and more accessible. The game is completely free with no registration required (unless you want to share your game between several devices), no ads, and can be played on any modern browser without the need of downloading a