Department for Health

Improving elite sports performance

Research on an athlete's performance can help them to win medals

Athletes runningResearch in Sports Performance aims to understand the limits of sports performance and improve athletic performance.

Athletes are important role models and an increase in participation as a result of their success can be strongly linked to wider social and economic benefits. For example, athletics has seen a 25% surge in participation in England since the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Dr Aki Salo has helped to understand the fundamental principles underlying performance in order to improve an individual athlete's technique and efficiency. He specialises in the technique of elite sprinters and hurdlers.

Dr Aki Salo has been involved in applied work with virtually all top British sprinters and hurdlers and their coaches over several years leading to the London Olympics 2012 (including all those who have represented Britain in major Championships). As a consequence of his research since 1998, Dr Aki Salo has helped specific athletes to win medals, brought new insights to coach education and practice, instigated changes to routine practices within UK Athletics and also translated his expertise to other Olympic sports.

Impact case study

This research was submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

Download impact case study.