sprinter, n.
/sprint/, v.i.
1. to race or move at full speed, esp. for a short distance, as in running, rowing, etc.
2. to traverse in sprinting: to sprint a half mile.
3. a short race at full speed.
4. a burst of speed at any point during a long race, as near the finish line.
5. a brief spell of great activity.
[1560-70; perh. continuing OE *sprintan (cf. gesprintan to emit); c. ON spretta, OHG sprinzan to jump up]

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 in bicycle racing, a competition over a 1,000-metre (1,094-yard) course (500-metre for women) with time taken only over the last 200 metres (219 yards).

      Racers compete in groups of two (sometimes called a match sprint) or three, and they frequently spend the early laps of the race moving relatively slowly and trying to manoeuvre their opponents into the lead, while at the same time following close behind and conserving energy for the final high-speed dash to the finish line. Olympic (Olympic Games) medals are awarded in the individual sprints for men (from 1896) and for women (from 1988).

 Tandem races, an amateur event, are similar to sprint competition, with teams of two racers each competing on tandem bicycles (see photograph—>). Speeds are slightly higher, and the racers generally maintain a more steady pace than in the individual sprints.

also called  dash  
 in athletics (track and field), a footrace over a short distance with an all-out or nearly all-out burst of speed, the chief distances being 100, 200, and 400 metres and 100, 220, and 440 yards.

 The course for sprint races is usually marked off in lanes within which each runner must remain for the entire race. Originally sprinters used a standing start, but after 1884 sprinters started from a crouched position using a device called a starting block (legalized in the 1930s) to brace their feet (see photograph—>). Races are begun by a pistol shot; at 55 to 65 metres (60 to 70 yards), top sprinters attain maximum speed, more than 40 km per hour (25 miles per hour). After the 65-metre mark the runner begins to lose speed through fatigue.

      All important international races at 200 metres and 220 yards, as well as 400 metres and 440 yards, are run on an oval track. The starts are staggered (the lanes farther from the centre begin progressively farther forward on the track) so that each runner will cover an equal distance. As a result, the competitors, particularly in the 400 metres and 440 yards, have no exact knowledge of their respective positions until they have completed the final turn. Great emphasis is therefore placed on an athlete's ability to judge his own pace, as well as upon his speed and endurance.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Sprint — [ʃprɪnt], der; s, s: Wettlauf, Wettrennen über eine kurze Strecke: solche Schuhe sind für Sprints am besten geeignet. * * * Sprịnt 〈m. 1〉 Lauf, Rennen mit größtmögl. Geschwindigkeit über eine kurze Strecke [<engl. sprint „schnell rennen“] * * …   Universal-Lexikon

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  • Sprint — (spr[i^]nt), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Sprinted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Sprinting}.] [Cf. {Sprunt}.] To run very rapidly; to run at full speed. [1913 Webster] A runner [in a quarter mile race] should be able to sprint the whole way. Encyc. Brit. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sprint — der; s, s <aus gleichbed. engl. sprint zu to sprint, vgl. ↑sprinten>: 1. kurzer, schneller Lauf. 2. das Sprinten (1; Sport) …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

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