EJSS is officially 20!

EJSS 20th Anniversary Competition Results


Hunter L. Paris
Chad C. Wiggins
Ren-Jay Shei

Hunter L. Paris, Pepperdine University, USA; Chad C. Wiggins, Mayo Clinic, USA; Ren-Jay Shei, Independent Sport Scientist, USA

Title: Flattening the curve: how Eliud Kipchoge’s unique physiology attenuates his age-related performance decline

Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the physiological profile of Eliud Kipchoge in his attempt at a master’s M50 (age 50-54) marathon World Record. Additionally, by comparing Kipchoge’s physiology over the past two decades with those of healthy individuals, we document his age-related decline in performance, thereby demonstrating the extreme limit of what is understood to be physiologically plausible. Coupled with his eclipsing of the World Record, Kipchoge’s data demonstrate that although aging remains inevitable, technological advancements and world class physiology slow age-related decrements in health and performance.

“Thank you for selecting our submission titled, “Flattening the curve: how Eliud Kipchoge’s unique physiology attenuates his age-related performance decline” as the winner of the European Journal of Sport Science’s 20th Anniversary competition on “The Future of Sport Science.” We are honored by this recognition and sincerely thank you, the editors, and the Journal for putting forth this opportunity. As early career scientists, we are especially grateful to be part of a global community of sport science in which collaboration is easier than ever. The advent of modern technology, the ability to readily meet and engage with peers (well, before 2020 that is…), and a communal recognition that science is best done as a team, have pushed our field into a new era.

We would like to thank the many scholars who have set a high bar in the field of sport science by undertaking outstanding research projects. There is perhaps no better example of combining excellent science with public interest (while making science “fun” and accessible to the broader public) than Dr. Joyner’s “Modeling: optimal marathon performance on the basis of physiological factors” and culminating in the most recent work by Dr. Jones and colleagues “Physiological demands of running at 2-hour marathon race pace.” We applaud the teams behind these works, along with the countless efforts surrounding the attempts to break the 2-hr marathon barrier which inspired our “Future of Sport Science” piece.

The Journal has grown exponentially in the 20 years since its inception and we hope that contemporary interest in sport science continues to grow over the next 20 years and beyond. The Journal’s commitment to outstanding science, public engagement, and accessibility will continue to both inspire young researchers and reinvigorate more seasoned scholars. We thank you for all that you do for our field and look forward to bearing witness to the Future of Sport Science as it unfolds.”



Andy Smith

Andy Smith, Independent Sport and Exercise Scientist, UK

Title: The Future of Sport Science

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to predict the future of Sports Science (SptSci). The method identified 4 forces that will shape SptSci in 2040 starting with a boom in the space sector and leading to interdisciplinary collaborations between SptSci and Artificial Intelligences. The results are that SptSci will provide services to 7 new types of clients including Space Athletes and space-based research funders. In the discussion it is opined that there will be a second enlightenment and a renaissance for sport. It is concluded that to achieve this utopia SptSci must play its part in avoiding 2 dystopias.

“My intention in writing this short piece was to offer a positive and optimistic view of a future in which a space boom leads to a new scientific enlightenment and a renaissance in sport. I also wanted to incorporate my thinking on the role of non-humans, i.e. Artificial Intelligence and animals, in the future of science and sport. Most importantly I wanted to use this opportunity to add to the calls for action on climate change.”



Liam Oliver

Liam S. Oliver, The Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Title: The Future of Sport Science

Abstract: Sports science has helped the world witness ground-breaking achievements in recent years, leaving only more questions asked than answered. Sports scientists now have the attention of the world and we do not know what to do with it. Retaining the human element to sports science, of both the athlete and staff, can help us regain focus. The future of sports science will be difficult to keep up with due to a rapid evolution of technological advancement. Therefore, it is critical that we uphold scientific rigour and continue to individualise our support. The future is now. Are you ready?

“Congratulations to the winners Hunter, Chad, and Ren-Jay for a fitting article to top the podium, and to runner-up, Andy Smith, for taking the time outside independent work to contribute to this thought-provoking competition. I extend these congratulations to the EJSS team for reaching their 20-year anniversary and thank all involved for inviting us to share our thoughts on the future of sports science. I hope you, the reader, enjoy reading my aspirations for the future of sports science and that you also look forward to the journey.”